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BK Blog Post
Why Will Patients with Little Knowledge and Fear of Continuity Go Looking For Cheaper Health Care?
People with higher deductibles health care plans do not want to lose continuity of coverage. Their lack of knowledge about alternative options and doubts about the consequences of discontinuing current plans stops them from actively looking for new plans.
There is a separate niche of consumers looking for health care plans with high deductibles. Once they have put this in place they are seldom motivated to go looking for alternatives. Published research from JAMA Internal Medicine says these customers may be less likely to shopping around. The poll of consumers in the United States having high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) revealed that only a minority preferred price shopping or other ‘consumer-type’ purchasing actions.
Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren, MS, MPH, an assistant professor of general medicine at the University of Michigan, says, “Our survey results indicate not many Americans worry over their existing high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). They do not actively engage in activities which might help them get health care at lowest possible costs.” About 40 percent save money for future health care services. About 25 percent admit speaking to health care service providers about the costs of their services. While 14 percent people compared prices and or quality ratings, only single digit 6 percent tried to negotiate health care services for affordable pricing. Only about half of these consumers said it helped them shop for health care or save on lower prices.
Number of High-deductible plans are rising
There’s a lot to be done for patients to get their high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) as well as maximize benefits from cost-sharing coverage. High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are more than 15 years old with increasing enrollment every year.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 40 percent of Americans under 65 had private health insurance enroll in HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLANS (HDHPS) within the first three months of 2017.
In contrast to conventional health care plans, these HDHPs give consumers the benefits of low monthly payments. Choosing higher deductibles makes this possible for patients looking for affordable health care. Deductibles require d1, 300 per person and $ 2,600 per family before insurers will pay. Citizens need to be more conscious of their healthcare costs in America. People with more skin in the game will become effective decision makers in the healthcare system on the whole.
However, contrary to this, survey findings indicate those with HDHPs are content and do not go shopping for lower premiums. A similar study published in spring found even lower incidences of price shopping.
According to Neeraj Sood, PhD, principal investigator of earlier study and director of research at Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California (USC), “When you compare those with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and those with conventional plans, there is actually no significant differences in the shopping behaviors of either group.”
“Only 3 percent of patients actually compared prices across healthcare providers whereas only 10 percent even bothered to think about or consider other service providers.”
According to Sood, two potential barriers coming in their way were difficulties in price shopping and concern over care continuity preventing them leaving their current health care service providers.
Plans Do Not Motivate Shopping Behavior
The current health care industry scenario across the country is not actively promoting the use of less expensive plans. It is rather motivating or pushing people, even if indirectly, towards using fewer health services. This attitude of reducing dependency on health care altogether needs to be examined in greater detail.
However, some people have pointed out that this may be good after all. People opting for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) get less low-value care that they may not need eventually. Financial problems arise when these same patients get little high-value care, which they will eventually need.
The American Journal of Managed Care has carried out multiple studies in this regard. Recent evidence suggests that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are responsible for restricting expenditures on indiscriminate health care plans. HDHPs do nothing to cut low-value care specifically.
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