Although it is not discussed as often as cost and quality issues, access to care is a third important aspect of the health system. While most people have literal geographic access to various health care resources, insurance or money to pay for that care is usually treated as a more significant access issue, along with enough intelligence or knowledge to know how to use health care resources. It is not that the affected individuals don’t have access to care, it is more that they chose not to use it because of cost concerns. The growth of consumer cost-sharing, primarily in the form of high deductibles and copayments has sparked concern about effects on access to or use of resources. In a report based on its surveys of consumers, the Employee Benefits Research Institute finds that there is a relationship between income, coverage and use of services. (EBRI Report) The researchers found that 26% of people with traditional coverage reported a delay or avoidance in care due to cost concerns, compared to 40% of people with high-deductible plans with no savings account, and 30% of those in a high-deductible plan with a savings account. Having a medical home did not appear to affect access issues in general. As expected, people with lower incomes reported more access issues regardless of plan type, with limited exceptions. The most significant factor appeared to be length of time with a plan with a savings account feature. The longer people were in this kind of plan the fewer access issues they report. This is likely explained by a learning process of understanding exactly how the accounts can be used and that they will cover deductible and copayment expenses.
✅ Subscribe via Email
About this Blog
The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
Healthy Skeptic Podcast
This is an outstanding report on total global drug spending and trends, with projections out to 2025. It helps you understand this important area of health care, which does much...
June 1, 2021
MedPAC 2019 Report to Congress
June 18, 2019
It may be investors that need the redesign. They just keep pouring money into this digital health crap despite all the losses. Redesign Health claims that it makes money by...
September 16, 2022
In truth, this seems like more money down a rathole. Google’s parent and other investors are putting a billion dollars into Google’s health arm, Verily. Apparently want to compete with...
September 12, 2022
It is like investors have learned nothing from the past two years. Even supposedly smart investors like Morgan Health, which is making a $20 million contribution to LetsGetChecked, which supposedly...
September 12, 2022
Access ACO Care Management Chronic Disease Comparative Effectiveness Consumer Directed Health Consumers Devices Disease Management Drugs EHRs Elder Care End-of-Life Care FDA Financings Genomics Government Health Care Costs Health Care Quality Health Care Reform Health Insurance Health Insurance Exchange HIT HomeCare Hospital Hospital Readmissions Legislation M&A Malpractice Meaningful Use Medicaid Medical Care Medicare Medicare Advantage Mobile Pay For Performance Pharmaceutical Physicians Providers Regulation Repealing Reform Telehealth Telemedicine Wellness and Prevention Workplace