Do High Deductible Health Plans Reduce Cost?

4420076596_d6252ec615Health reform and health care redesign inevitably fixates on reducing costs. Yes, there’s always the idea that we might improve quality and safety, but in the end costs become a major driver for change.

In some cases its unclear whether certain approaches that look good on paper will really work in practice. Some $20 billion and a lot of hope has been placed on the promise of electronic medical records (EMR) to reduce costs and improve quality of care, for example. But its still not clear if they will improve quality, and they are associated with significant implementation costs. And despite government incentives, implementation is still costly.

Some have argued for high deductible health insurance plans as a way of “sharing” costs with consumers, as well as discouraging unnecessary utilization of costly care.

So do high deductible plans really reduce costs? The short 80 second video blog below summarizes a new study from RAND that tried to answer this question.

Photo credit:The author

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