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• Lisa Rapaport reports that researchers found that diabetics who were switched to higher deductible health insurance plans were more likely to delay care, increasing the risk of escalation.
• How can funders helpt o ensure that Americans get the healthcare they need in a timely fashion?
• Learn about the healthcare policy implications of the 2018 election.
Workers with diabetes who switch to high-deductible health plans that require paying more out-of-pocket for care may be more likely than those who remain in low-deductible plans to delay needed checkups, a U.S. study suggests.
People with diabetes are at risk for life-threatening blood vessel diseases. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke and amputation.
For the study, researchers examined data on almost 34,000 people with diabetes who initially had employer-sponsored health plans with deductibles of $500 or less – but then their employers switched to offering only plans with deductibles of $1,000 or more. The study team also looked at a comparison group of almost 295,000 workers with diabetes who consistently had deductibles of $500 or less.
Before the first group switched to higher deductible health plans, there were no meaningful differences between the groups in how long patients waited to get care for complications that can be life-threatening without timely treatment, the study found.
But over the four years after some employers switched to offering only high-deductible plans, the patients on these plans waited an average of 1.5 months longer than people on low-deductible plans to seek care for new symptoms of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes, 1.9 months longer for diagnostic tests and 3.1 months longer for medical procedures to treat these complications.
Read the full article about diabetics with high deductibles by Lisa Rapaport at Reuters.
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