High deductible insurance plans come with benefits, drawbacks

High deductible insurance plans come with benefits, drawbacksIn a study, researchers at the RAND Corporation, Towers Watson and the University of Southern California found that employee health benefits that include deductibles of $1,000 or more can mean big savings for both employer and consumer.

Lower expenditures resulted from patients being able to make their own decisions when it came to care – namely, in choosing whether to see a specialist or take name brand pharmaceuticals – according to the study.

“Unlike earlier time periods, it seems that today's consumers can have greater influence on the level and mix of medical services provided once they begin to receive medical care,” said lead author Amelia Haviland, of RAND Corporation.

However, the team also observed a slight decline in cancer screenings and childhood immunizations among consumers during the first year of their high deductible plan. Authors of the study said this statistic raises some concern over individuals skipping needed healthcare services.

Results of this study suggest that organizations should work with staff members to help them choose the most appropriate employee health benefits to suit their needs.

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