Commonwealth Fund study highlights the complications of medical costs and the health care system
The Commonwealth Fund has released a new study called “The Problem of Underinsurance and How Rising Deductibles Will Make it Worse.” The study highlights the fact that many people with health insurance coverage are not actually using this coverage. There are many factors that contribute to these issues, but the high cost of medical care and high deductibles are proving to be a barrier to people using their insurance policies.
High deductibles are a barrier for consumers
High deductibles are particularly burdensome for those with insurance coverage. In the United States, millions of people were able to find coverage through health insurance exchanges. These exchanges offer relatively affordable coverage, which is often subsidized by the federal government, but policies with lower premiums are often burdened by high deductibles. Deductibles refer to the money that policyholders must pay before their insurance provide will cover costs associated with medical care and medication.
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31 million people are not using their insurance coverage because of costs
The study suggests that approximately 31 million people in the United States are not using their health insurance coverage. Many of these people are simply not using their policies to cover checkups, mild medical procedures, and medications, saving their coverage for serious medical events. Approximately 20% of families and individuals with employer-sponsored insurance coverage are also not using their policies due to concerns regarding costs.
Lowering medical costs could encourage people to visit the doctor more often
Health insurance coverage has become somewhat more affordable for those in the United States because of exchanges, but these exchanges have not stopped premiums and the cost of medical care to continue to rise. Medical costs, in particular, are one of the major concerns that insured consumers have when it comes to their coverage. Addressing these costs is a difficult and complicated issue, as medical procedures, medications, and care in general are all expensive aspects of the health care system. Finding ways to mitigate medical costs could encourage consumers to use their insurance coverage more often as well as make them feel more willing to visit a doctor when they need care.