NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Do "Consumer-Directed" Health Plans Bend the Cost Curve Over Time?

Amelia M. Haviland, Matthew D. Eisenberg, Ateev Mehrotra, Peter J. Huckfeldt, Neeraj Sood

NBER Working Paper No. 21031
Issued in March 2015
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

“Consumer-Directed” Health Plans (CDHPs) combine high deductibles with personal medical accounts and are intended to reduce health care spending through greater patient cost sharing. Prior research shows that CDHPs reduce spending in the first year. However, there is little research on the impact of CDHPs over the longer term. We add to this literature by using data from 13 million individuals in 54 large US firms to estimate the effects of a firm offering CDHPs on health care spending up to three years post offer. We use a difference-in-differences analysis and to further strengthen identification, we balance observables within firm, over time by developing weights through a machine learning algorithm. We find that spending is reduced for those in firms offering CDHPs in all three years post. The reductions are driven by spending decreases in outpatient care and pharmaceuticals, with no evidence of increases in emergency department or inpatient care.

download in pdf format
   (1587 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the July 2015 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper was revised on July 9, 2015

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21031

Published: Amelia M. Haviland & Matthew D. Eisenberg & Ateev Mehrotra & Peter J. Huckfeldt & Neeraj Sood, 2016. "Do “Consumer-Directed” health plans bend the cost curve over time?," Journal of Health Economics, vol 46, pages 33-51.

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us