Public and private health insurance deductibles should not be set at amounts that prevent patients from accessing treatment for life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases.
Insurers must mitigate the impact that high upfront deductibles in commercial health insurance plans have on patients’ ability to start and stay on their prescription medications.
Why high deductibles are harmful
Although deductibles have long been part of most commercial health insurance plans, annual deductibles have dramatically increased over the last decade. Patients often pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses before their insurance provides coverage.
This charity helps with what has been the scariest part of living with cancer – the financial burden. I’d like to think I have enough to worry about without worrying about covering my yearly deductible on January 1, as my medicine costs $12,000 per month.Ben, living with chronic myeloid leukemia
High-deductible insurance plans are most common in companies with low-wage workers, placing a significant financial burden on people who can least afford it. These insurance plans are also challenging for people who need specialty medications with no generic alternative, who must meet a deductible as high as $10,000 at the beginning of the benefit year to fill their prescriptions. Many people are unable to handle these upfront costs and delay or abandon treatment.