Out of 32 million insured residents in California, three million were enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in 2007, according to a new report from the University of California at Los Angeles.
High out-of-pocket costs caused some reluctance to seek care, the study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found. For example, 20% of commercial PPO enrollees with high deductible plans were likely to delay care, compared to 17% of those without high deductibles, researchers found.
HDHPs were defined by the center as plans with deductibles of $1,000 or more for individuals or $2,000 or more for families. Some exceeded $5,000 annually in deductibles, UCLA says.
HDHPs are the only insurance many Americans can afford, especially the self-employed or those with low-incomes, the study team notes.
California enrollment in HDHPs in 2007 was highest among members of preferred provider organizations (PPOs), where 28% of all commercial PPO members reported a deductible higher than $1,000. Among commercial health maintenance organization (HMO) plan members, 14% reported having such plans.