Analysts have found evidence insured consumers who have too much “skin in the game” may be more likely to end up in the hospital.
Sara Collins and other analysts at the Commonwealth Fund have reported that find in a summary of results from a 2014 telephone survey of about 6,000 adults ages 19 and older living in the continental United States. The Commonwealth Fund has also sponsored similar surveys in the past.
The analysts classified participants as underinsured if the participants had major medical coverage throughout the year but had deductibles exceeding 5 percent of income; had plan out-of-pocket medical expenses exceeding 10 percent of income; or had an income under 200 percent of the federal poverty level and out-of-pocket expenses exceeding 5 percent of income.
When the analysts looked at underinsured participants who had chronic conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure or diabetes, they found that 14 percent had gone to the emergency room or stayed in a hospital overnight as a result of the condition in the past year.
About 19 percent of the uninsured participants with chronic conditions had gone to the hospital because of the condition. Only 8 percent of the well-insured participants had gone to the hospital because of their conditions.
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