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). All Faculty Scholarship. 2733.