HEALTH PLANS/POLICY: RAND shows that HDHPs will only havea modest impact

There’s an important article out in Health Affairs showing that, as has been suggested on THCB many times, contrary to some (and it is only some) of the HDHP/CDHC advocates rantings, the move to lower premium higher deductible health plans even with premium subsidies for the poor will have relatively little overall impact, and certainly won’t change the uninsurance numbers much. Here’s the Press Release and the money quote:

Price subsidies have only modest effects on overall participation in the individual health insurance market, RAND Corporation senior economist Susan Marquis and coauthors report in a Health Affairs Web Exclusive published today.

“A 20 percent [premium] subsidy would increase the number of subscribers in the individual market by 5-11 percent and decrease the number of uninsured people by 1-3 percent,” the researchers report. That comes from 1-2 percent more potential purchasers deciding to buy insurance and about 15 percent fewer current enrollees dropping coverage, as a result of the 20 percent subsidy.

I’ll be back later when I’ve read the article.

UPDATE: Damn, didn’t even get a chance to read this and I’ve already been interviewed about it. I must be getting famous. Wealth surely to follow?

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