09 Oct High Deductible Plans Hit Chronically Ill Low-Income Patients Hardest
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Salam Abdus, PhD
Division of Research and Modeling,
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends,
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Department of Health and Human Services
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: High deductible health plans are more prevalent than ever.
Previous research showed that adults in low-income families or with chronic conditions are more likely to face high financial burdens when they are enrolled in high-deductible health plans, compared to adults in higher income families or healthier adults.
In this study we examined the financial burden of high-deductible health plans among adults who are both low income and chronically ill. We used AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) data from 2011 to 2015 to study the prevalence of high out-of-pocket health care spending burden of high deductible health plans among adults enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance. We included family out-of-pocket spending on premiums and health care services.
We found that among adults who had family income below 250% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL), had multiple chronic conditions, and were enrolled in high-deductible health plans, almost half (46.9%) had financial family out-of-pocket health care burden exceeding 20 percent of family disposable income.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: High deductible health plans could be particularly burdensome if you have multiple chronic conditions and your family income is low.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research should examine whether high out-of-pocket costs hinder the ability of low-income adults with multiple chronic conditions to receive effective treatment.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The views expressed in this article are those of ours, and no official endorsement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the Department of Health and Human Services is intended or should be inferred.
Abdus S, Keenan PS. Financial Burden of Employer-Sponsored High-Deductible Health Plans for Low-Income Adults With Chronic Health Conditions. JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 08, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4706
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