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Members With High Deductibles Choose Lower-Cost Options

MANAGED CARE May 2009. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Members With High Deductibles Choose Lower-Cost Options

MANAGED CARE May 2009. ©MediMedia USA

Consumers who choose high deductible health plans (HDHPs), which feature lower premiums and higher deductibles, are more likely than members of other health plans to choose lower cost options, such as generic medications versus brand-name drugs, and to take better care of their health.

Two studies conducted by Independence Blue Cross sought to learn more about consumers’ attitudes toward taking active roles in their health care and whether their behaviors back up their beliefs.

The company found that HDHP members were more engaged in making health care decisions than consumers in traditional managed care plans such as PPOs or HMOs. Fifty-seven percent of HDHP members with chronic conditions say they are actively involved in treatment decisions. Only 37 percent of members who are enrolled in other managed care plans say this.

Health plans are also a key source of information. Consumers traditionally look to their physicians, family, and friends for health advice.

The IBC study found that health plans are perceived as a viable source of information, particularly when exploring treatment options or the cost of care.

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