KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

High-Deductible Plans Become ‘Mainstream’ In The Marketplace

The PBS News Hour story examined how high-deductible health plans work, and possible consumer risks with this form of health coverage.

PBS News Hour: High-Deductible Plans A 'Quiet Revolution In Health Insurance'
Dennis Adams is what the insurance industry calls a young invincible. ... So when the non-profit Oberlin Dance Company of San Francisco offered a new type of health insurance three years ago, the 27-year-old professional dancer didn't think twice. He signed up right away. It was a high-deductible insurance plan that traded lower monthly premiums for higher out-of-pocket costs to employees. In this case, Adams would have to pay $2,500 up front before his health insurance would kick in, if he needed it. Then, the unthinkable. ... Adams tore his ACL. When he need an MRI to determine how bad the damage was, the provider demanded the $1,600 test be paid for up front. Adams was stunned, but, even worse, he didn't have the money (Bowser, 4/27).

Kaiser Health News: Quick Facts About High-Deductible Health Plans
High-deductible health care plans are no longer a novelty—they are becoming mainstream. According to the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, the number of people with this kind of coverage reached more than 11.4 million in January 2011, up from 10 million in January 2010 (Kulkarni, 4/27, done in collaboration with the News Hour).

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