Putting the Health Back in Health Insurance
What are the barriers to voluntary take-up of high-deductible plans? We address this question using a large-scale employer survey conducted after an open-enrollment period in which a new high-deductible plan was first introduced. Only 3% of the employees chose this plan, despite the respondents’ recognition of its financial advantages. Employees who believed that the high-deductible plan provided access to top physicians in the area were three times more likely to choose it than employees who did not share this belief. A framed field experiment using a similar choice menu showed that displaying additional financial information did not increase high-deductible plan take-up. However, when plans were presented as identical except for the deductible, respondents were highly likely to choose the high-deductible plan, especially in a two-way choice. These results suggest that informing plan choosers about high-deductible plans’ health access provisions may affect choice more strongly than focusing on their financial advantages.
High-deductible health insurance plans, consumer choice, health access
Medical Care Research and Review
Atanasov, Pavel and Baker, Tom, "Putting the Health Back in Health Insurance" (2014). Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law. 2733.