Health Affairs Web Exclusive Examines ‘Renewed Emphasis’ on Cost Sharing
James Robinson, a professor of health economics at the University of California-Berkeley, examines the "renewed emphasis" being placed on consumer cost sharing in health benefit packages in a Health Affairs Web exclusive released last week. Robinson notes that with "renewed inflation" and "the continuing backlash against managed care," health plans and purchasers have begun experimenting with higher deductibles, increased copayments and "thinner" benefit packages. Robinson writes that while such "cost-control mechanisms" will maintain the "health care status quo" in the near future, continued cost-sharing will drive purchasers away from "one-size-fits-all" approaches and toward plans offering multiple benefit configurations and discounted supplementary services. The study was supported by the California HealthCare Foundation and Kaiser Permanente (Robinson, "Renewed Emphasis on Consumer Cost Sharing in Health Insurance Benefit Design," Health Affairs, 3/20). The complete review can be found online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.