A new study from a team of Harvard researchers explores how health insurance plans with high deductibles effect the care that families do, and don’t, seek. Results show that enrollees in high deductible health plans do tend to delay care — but only for the healthy. Researchers found that, among families where at least one member has a chronic condition, other members of the family postponed care in order to save on costs. So , in families where the child had a chronic condition, the healthier adult tended to be the one reporting holding off. For those with an unhealthy adult, however, it was the opposite: Care for children got delayed. What this study couldn’t prove was whether the delayed care was essential. If the care was indeed needed, that could be problematic and costly, leading to higher health care costs for any complications that arise down the line. If it wasn’t, it would signal a high deductible health plan working as it should, encouraging individuals not to seek the care they don’t need.
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