How Consumer-Directed Plans Affect the Cost and Use of Health Care

This has been the crux of the matter all along (see article here). From the National Center for Policy Analysis:

Consumer-directed health plans seem to be a viable solution to curb rising health care costs. These health plans combine a high deductible with a tax-advantaged health account whose funds roll over from year to year, says the RAND Corporation.

In exchange for higher deductibles, the costs of premiums are lowered. The hope is that making consumers more responsible for their health will encourage them to shop around and find the best plan.

Critics contend that consumers won’t know how best to lower health related costs without reducing the quality of care. However, empirical analysis suggests that people with consumer-driven health plans are able to achieve cuts in health spending while retaining quality care.

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