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:

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?

 

 

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