The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing examining whether consumer-directed health plans, which pair a health savings account with a high-deductible health plan, hold potential to lower costs and expand access to health care. In a statement submitted to the committee, AHA said CDHPs “may be an appropriate form of coverage for some individuals, including those who have high health care literacy and sufficient means to fund their HSAs or otherwise cover higher upfront costs. However, the AHA is concerned about the ability of these plans to lower costs and expand access to care for individuals who may not be aware of the limitations of such coverage and who do not have the means to fund their HSAs or otherwise pay for initial care out of pocket.” Without addressing the underlying cost of care, insurance benefit designs like HDHPs and HSAs simply “shift responsibility for upfront costs from one entity to another – first from the payer to the consumer and then to providers in the form of bad debt,” the association said. To improve the cost of coverage without putting access to care at risk, AHA encouraged Congress to address the “underlying drivers of high cost,” such as the unsustainable growth in prescription drug prices, and promote enrollment in comprehensive health coverage.

Related News Articles

Headline
Despite some progress in transparency related to the process for Section 1115 Medicaid waivers, the Centers for Medicare…
Chairperson's File
During Mental Health Month, let’s all remember that caring for the whole person improves health and saves lives.
Headline
he House of Representatives last night voted 234-183 to pass legislation (H.R. 987) that combines several AHA-supported bills to help lower prescription drug…
Headline
The Centers for Medicare…
Headline
A study released last week by Rand on prices paid by private health plans to hospitals “relied on severely limited data and questionable assumptions to draw…
Perspective
When the many vulnerable members of society need care, they often turn to their local hospital or health system.