Patient Cost Sharing: How Much is Too Much?
Publication Date: December 2003
Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change
Author(s): Sally Trude
Series: Issue Brief No. 72
Responding to successive years of double-digit health insurance premium increases, employers continue to restructure health benefits to slow the rise in company costs by increasing patients' financial stake in their care. A new Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) study examines how increased patient cost sharing through higher deductibles, copayments and coinsurance raises patients' out-of-pocket costs. Increased patient cost sharing creates more financial burdens for seriously ill and low-income workers. Concerns about financial hardships for seriously ill and low-income workers may limit employers' ability to slow rising premiums through increased patient cost sharing.