California Workers in High-Deductible Health Plans utilize less Preventive Health Care

Accordingly to a study published this week in  Health Affairs Modern Physician U.S. workers made fewer visits to their physicians and pharmacies after their employers moved them into a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account. The findings indicate that beneficiaries of HDHPs might forgo preventive treatment because they are confused about the plan’s coverage. For example, rates for routine cancer screenings fell even though the costs for the screenings were waived under the plans. Meanwhile, the unexpected increase in ED visits might indicate a lack of adequate primary care, particularly among patients with chronic conditions, the researchers said.

Study Findings“The study found:

  • Routine screenings for cancer declined during the year after the insurance plan switch, although screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers later rebounded;
  • Emergency department visits increased during the third year after the switch; and
  • Hospital use remained consistent before and after the switch.”

HSA plans with high deductibles can be an excellent insurance solution for a family with significant income in Los Angeles.  But in my experience many employees do not understand the policies and do not even set up a HSA account, which leads than to frustration and neglect of preventive health care. Employees just opt not to go to the doctor as they are afraid of the health expense.

With the Healthcare Reform in 2014 there are many changes for small business to consider, please contact Solid Health Insurance Services for a a free evaluation of your small business healthplan.