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!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences