The ‘Value’ Trade-Off in High-Deductible Health Plans

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey published Thursday of people who buy insurance in the non-group market found that while many people may choose higher-deductible plans so they can pay a lower premium, they aren’t all that happy about it. It may just be the only way they can get a premium they feel they can afford.

As the chart above shows, 37% of people with high-deductible plans described their plan as an “excellent” or “good” value for what they pay, compared with 68% of people with lower-deductible plans saying the same. A high deductible was defined as $1,500 or more for an individual and $3,000 or more for a family. Sixty percent of those with higher-deductible plans rated the value of their plan as “fair” or “poor.”

People with higher deductibles are significantly more likely than those with lower deductibles to say they feel vulnerable to high medical bills (55% vs. 22%). Whether a deductible is a barrier to seeking needed care or a blow to a family budget depends on income. People with higher incomes are more likely to have larger deductibles and to be able to afford them. People with lower incomes are more likely to be getting premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, but in the new Kaiser survey people with both lower and higher incomes gave high-deductible plans lower marks.

– The Wall Street Journal

Read the full article here.