The study, titled "Effects of a Cost-sharing Exemption on Use of Preventive Services at One Large Employer," evaluated how Alcoa, a world leader in aluminum production, implemented a new benefit plan for some employees and their families in 2004.
As a way to keep employees healthy and to reduce future health care costs, the plan provided employees incentives to use preventive care services by completely covering the expenses. For these services, employees and their dependents did not have a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible. At the same time, the company increased cost sharing, or the amount employees would have to pay out-of-pocket, for many outpatient services.
"Our study suggests that if employers would like to maintain rates of preventive health care use while increasing cost sharing, exempting preventive care services from cost sharing may help," according to lead author Susan H. Busch, associate professor of public health in the Division of Health Policy and Administration in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine. Busch explains that the results of the study may encourage more firms to exempt preventive care services from cost sharing.
The researchers examined claims data from 2003 to 2004 and compared the rates of preventive care use among 30,000 employees before and after this benefit change. Due to multi-year union contracts, only some Alcoa employees were subject to the new benefit design allowing the researchers to compare preventive care use among employees with different benefit plans at the same company. The preventive services studied include cervical and colorectal cancer screening, well-child visits and adolescent well care.
"After this benefit change, Alcoa maintained rates of preventive care use, suggesting that exempting high-value services from cost-sharing can preserve the use of important health benefits," said Busch, who notes that the trend in employee health coverage has been to increase deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance, resulting in higher out-of-pocket expenses for employees.
A concern about increased cost-sharing is that it could lead to declines in the use of services that have been shown to cost-effectively reduce the burden of disease, including preventive care. "This study indicates one way employers can maintain use of preventive services, while increasing cost-sharing on other services," said Busch.
Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine