Deductibles in Health Insurance, Beneficial or Detrimental: A Review Article
Background: One of the ways for cost-sharing in health system that has been taken into consideration in recent years in some developed countries is paying deductibles. In case of using deductibles, the insured people more carefully and accurately will use health care services, and potentially many unnecessary costs will be avoided.
Methods: To investigate the evidence of deductibles in health systems across the world, a literature review was conducted by searching the materials published in databases including ISI web of science, PubMed, Scopus and also Google scholar search engine from 2000 to 2017. Besides the related websites including WHO and the World Bank were searched. Inclusion criteria were studies carried out only in health insurance, English language, and the year of the study.
Results: The most important positive impacts of deductibles were decrease in utilization of different services, high profitability for the young and healthy people, lower health benefit claims by the insured people, and increase in financial profitability of health insurance organization. Besides, the most negative impacts increase in out of pocket burdens and also higher hospitalization over time.
Conclusion: Deductible plans have their own advantages and disadvantages for the insured and insurance organizations in terms of financial dimensions as well as utilization of health services, and explicitly none of these plans can be flawless. Given the increasing costs of health systems and the potential moral hazard of insured persons, it seems these systems sooner or later should inevitably move towards new cost-sharing plans, including deductibles.
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