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Study On Harvard Pilgrim High-Deductible Plan: Even Better-Off People Scrimp

High-deductible plans are growing quickly in popularity these days, and are expected to grow still faster as federal health reform kicks in. But a new study of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care patients suggests that, as NPR's Julie Rovner puts it here, high deductibles may be bad for your health.

The Los Angeles Times lays out the study:

The team, from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, surveyed 434 families enrolled in high-deductible health plans offered by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a nonprofit health insurer in New England. High-deductible plans were defined as those with annual deductibles of at least $1,000 for individuals and at least $2,000 for families.
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Fifty-seven percent of lower-income families reported they had delayed or foregone treatment because of cost, versus 42% of higher-income families, the study reported.

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Families with incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level were considered "lower income." Those with incomes equal to or greater than 300% of the federal poverty level were considered "higher income."

This program aired on November 24, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth blog.

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