Cheaper for whom?

The San Francisco Chronicle today details an emerging behavior by employers trying to trim costs: go for cheaper high-deductible plans. Premiums on these coverage options cost less, for the employer and employee at the front end.

BUT if you happen to get sick, need surgery, have chronic pain that doctors can’t seem to diagnose, it’ll end up costing you far more for doctor’s visits, drugs, etc.

Some people seem to believe higher deductibles will cause patients to become more cost conscious and “shop around” for care. NOT. …But not for lack of trying. There simply isn’t enough information out there on cost and quality.

When was the last time you tried to “shop around” for a pap smear, prostate exam, blood test. The information simply isn’t out there and isn’t easy to get. And if you’re in an ambulance, suffering from a heart attack, there’s really not enough time to do the research.

The Employer Benefit Research Institute and The Commonwealth Fund both have relatively recent reports on consumers, high deductible health plans and their accompanying Health Savings Accounts.

The evidence, so far, shows that while these plans may be more affordable for employers — it means employees will be paying more.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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