High-deductible health plans: putting more cost on the consumer for less care.
Looking forward to hearing more about the new way we will pay for health care in Rhode Island. There is lots of room for improvement. I also hope there is going to be something done about high deductible health plans which are leading to more uncompensated care at hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
When’s the last time you called up your local doctor and asked for a price schedule?
From what I understand, Obamacare is supposed to make it impossible to have a health care deductible of more than $2500. Which is high, but I guess it could always be higher.
Out of curiosity, I went to Healthcare.gov to find out what my insurance options would be if I were a 44 year old healthy female looking for coverage. I was prompted to do so by an email from Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, reminding me that we are in the countdown to 2014, where everyone will need to be enrolled for insurance.
The only options that came up for me were provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield and they gave me a range of plans with deductibles from $3,000 to $7,000 a year and premiums with a range of $275 to $400 a month. I had checked the box saying it would be difficult for me to afford care, but fat lot of good that did.
Forgive me, Dear Reader, but this does not sound like Affordable Health Care. This sounds like how to potentially lose a good chunk of my savings as well as pay a hefty monthly premium, all so I can’t have any really meaningful access to care such as mental health benefits and emergency room access without having to go broke. If this is really all the Affordable Health Care Act is doing, I’m not sure it will be an improvement over what we have and may just lead to more medical bankruptcies for the middle class and the poor.
I am withholding judgement for now, as I assume that more options will be listed soon in the directory, such as some more affordable plans from United Health Care or Neighborhood Health Plan. That’s my hope at least. If you want to check it out for yourself, give the Healthcare.gov Finder a try.
…And don’t accidentally use that HSA debit card for something else, or you’ll be sorry. Read on.
This study has a good graph showing how people in high deductible health plans forego or delay care. It also notes that the incidence of foregoing and delaying care goes up as the poverty of the individual increases. Conclusion: HDHP’s are making access to care even more challenging for the poor. I would like to see how the Affordable Health Care act plans to remedy this.
When low income people end up skipping preventive care and maintenance care for ongoing conditions, their health suffers.