Task Force Tackles High Deductible Health Plans
October 21, 2019
By Lynne Ide |
What to do about high deductible health plans?
That is a challenge being tackled by the state’s recently convened High Deductible Health Plan Task Force.
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) are driving up out-of-pocket costs for families across the state — and keeping too many people from getting the care they need.
In response to this challenge, the legislature established a HDHP Task Force, which held its first full meeting on October 16. They are charged with bringing recommendations for action to the legislature by February 1, 2020.
The Task Force heard opening comments from its members, all of whom are appointed by legislative leadership (Democratic and Republican) and the Governor, and predominantly represent three sectors: medical doctors/hospitals, health insurers, and those involved in providing health coverage to employees. Read more about the October 16 meeting here.
Task Force members acknowledged the limitations they face — including reducing high deductible costs at the risk of raising premiums; and, the fact that state law cannot regulate self-insured health plans (which cover at least 60% of state residents who are in employer-sponsored plans).
Foundation to Task Force: Too many people struggle with these costly plans
I testified before the Task Force, reminding them of the human cost of HDHPs:
- In Connecticut, 63% of individuals and 55% of families are in high deductible health plans (data from the 2018 US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey)
- A national 2019 Benchmark Employer Health Benefits Survey reports a 162% increase in deductible costs in the past ten years (released by Kaiser Family Foundation)
- A nonpartisan 2018 statewide poll found that 43% of adults delayed or did not get care due to costs (conducted by Altarum Healthcare Value Hub)
The bottom line is that many people living with HDHPs are functionally uninsured — not merely under-insured. These people just don’t go to a doctor unless it’s unavoidable.
What Can You Do?
- Share your high deductible health plan story with us by filling out this quick and easy online form
- Testify at one of the 2019 HDHP Task Force Meetings: November 6, November 20, December 4 and December 18 at 11 am in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford (you can find more information about the task force here).