When low income people end up skipping preventive care and maintenance care for ongoing conditions, their health suffers.
I wonder whether out of pocket spending for mental health services has gone up or down with high-deductible health coverage. More research to come. But for now, a look at how “consumer-directed” health care is affecting overall consumer spending for health care:
“I’ve heard of nothing but acceleration” of employers into consumer-directed health insurance, said Roy Ramthun, a benefits consultant who was a senior health policy advisor in President George W. Bush’s administration. “More local units of government, school districts and even some union plans are starting to move more aggressively into these areas.”
Kale has been the trendy new health food in recent years, and with good reason. But don't forget about the old standby super food, spinach.
Looking at this graphic we made from information provided by USNews, there seems to be a reason behind Popeye's obsession with spinach instead of other green superfoods -- namely perhaps more fiber, protein, calcium and potassium.
This article explains how 31 people are being laid off from a hospital in Keene, New Hampshire, due to a number of factors including less reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid and problems stemming from high deductible health plans:
Hospital officials said in December recent trends toward high-deductible health insurance plans have apparently led to increases in outstanding bad debt, which includes unpaid patient bills, and also to reductions in the public’s use of some medical services. The number of patients, which at the hospital averages more than 30 filled beds at any one time, is down, and demand for outpatient services is also off.
This article states that high deductible plans have skyrocketed from 8% in 2009 to 19% last year. If they continue at this rate, about 50% of people will have high deductible plans by 2020. Oh what a wonderful world it will be.
This study by RAND is the largest survey yet to show the effects of high deductible insurance plans. The study notes that people were less likely to access preventative care when they have a high deductible. People are also less likely to access mental health care when they have a high deductible, particularly if they are middle class or poor. More research to follow.
The biggest barriers for people who need mental health care are the costs, according to the survey cited in the article below.
In Connecticut today, the issue of mental health access, particularly for children and adolescents, is being discussed in the State House. I hope the problem of high deductibles insurance plans will be brought up, as this is a major barrier to mental health care for the poor and middle class.
The day after a gun control hearing that lasted until nearly 3 a.m. state legislators will take up what may be an even tougher topic: addressing mental health problems in children and adolescents. – Courant.com.