Recession Cuts Into Health Spending; High-Deductible Plans Spread
Politico: Recession One Way To Curb Health Costs
The economic slump has put the brakes on health spending, which may bolster a conservative truism: When consumers become more sensitive to the cost of health care, they cut back. Or maybe it supports a progressive one: Forcing consumers to have more "skin in the game" means they will cut back on needed care, not just elective or unnecessary care. And neither side can tell for sure yet whether people have changed spending patterns for good or just postponed seeing doctors or getting tests or treatment (Feder, 11/21).
Los Angeles Times: More U.S. Firms Using High-Deductible Insurance Plans
U.S. employers, struggling to contain rising healthcare costs, are expanding their use of high-deductible insurance plans, which help reduce monthly insurance premiums by shifting a greater share of medical expenses to workers, a new survey shows. In 2011, 32% of companies with 500 or more employees offered high-deductible plans. That was up from 23% in 2010, according to the survey of 2,844 private and public employers by the benefits consulting firm Mercer (Helfand, 11/22).
Related, earlier story from KHN: FAQ On HSAs: The Basics Of Health Savings Accounts (Kulkarni, 11/4)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.