High-deductible health insurance plans may be bad for women’s health, suggest results of a new study.
An analysis of data on women without evidence of breast cancer who were covered for at least 1 year in a low annual deductible plan and then switched by their employers to high annual deductible plans showed that when women were forced to shell out substantially more money before their insurance kicked in, they were significantly more likely to have delays in diagnostic breast imaging, breast biopsy, and initiation of chemotherapy.
“Such delays might lead to adverse long-term breast cancer outcomes. Policymakers, health insurers, and employers should consider designing or incentivizing health insurance benefits that facilitate transitions through key steps along the cancer care pathway,” wrote J. Frank Wharam, MB, and colleagues at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston. The report was published in