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Poor Kids With Chronic Illness Are Being Switched to High-Deductible Plans

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | April 02, 2009

"Our data show that families with children in high-deductible plans may comprise two distinct groups, one with higher-risk characteristics and one with lower-risk characteristics compared to traditional plans," says Galbraith. "This makes it important to monitor the effects of enrollment in high-deductible plans on children's use of needed care, especially for vulnerable populations that are enrolled."

As high-deductible health plans have become more popular, with 10 percent of employers offering a plan with a high deductible and 14.8 million adults enrolled in 2007, they are also spreading to families with children. There is growing concern among pediatricians that families facing high out-of-pocket costs may be failing to obtain recommended care.

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A national survey published in 2007, showed that about half of the people enrolled in high-deductible plans did not have a choice of plans.

The current study was funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the Charles H. Hood Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


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