It’s time to find a solution to high deductible health plans

By Joshua Levin

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After months of work, the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Task Force has come to an agreement that HDHPs pose a serious risk to residents’ health and pocketbooks. However, their focus has remained largely on the problems and less on the solutions.

During their last meeting, the task force continued their debate about the suggested findings and recommendations they must submit to the legislature on February 1. Some highlights include:

  • High deductibles can lead to medical debt, which in turn is a significant cause of bankruptcies, collections activities, and other household financial stressors
  • High deductibles present an impediment to medically necessary care when consumers delay or avoid care due to the size of their deductible
  • Improvements in health care literacy would positively impact consumers’ ability to select plans that best fit their needs and better utilize their plan

While these findings could potentially help curb the financial, emotional, and physical harm HDHPs cause, the Task Force must not lose sight of the big picture; consumers need recommendations that lead to action.

With differing viewpoints represented on the Task Force, solutions are going to be tough to agree on. Nevertheless, this is not about appeasing the insurance companies, the lobbyists, or the legislators. This is about helping Connecticut residents.

Let’s make one thing clear, the opportunity to create positive change should not be missed. With residents delaying or putting off care entirely, rationing medication, and drowning in medical debt, the members of the Task Force must put aside their differences and work together to find solutions that help people.

Recommendations are due February 1. It is important now, that people like you tell legislators and the Task Force that we need action. The HDHP Task Force recommendations will affect people struggling with their health care; real people who need real action.

Use the hashtag #IHateMyHighDeductible to tell your legislators your story, and how your high deductible has impeded you from living your most successful life. While you’re at it, follow us on Twitter!