High-deductible health plans save money, but patients get less preventive care

A study of high-deductible health plans from RAND finds that such plans significantly cut health spending, but also prompt patients to reduce preventive health care. The study results are published in the March edition of the American Journal of Managed Care.

“We discovered that costs go down dramatically during the first year people are enrolled in high-deductible health plans, as long as the deductible is at least $1,000 per person,” said Amelia M. Haviland, a study co-author and a statistician at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “But we also found concerning reductions in use of preventive care. This suggests people are cutting both necessary and unnecessary care.”

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