TITLE

Insurance benefit preferences of the low-income uninsured

AUTHOR(S)
Danis, Marion; Biddle, Andrea K.; Goold, Susan Dorr; Dorr Goold, Susan
PUB. DATE
February 2002
SOURCE
JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine;Feb2002, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p125
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
journal article
ABSTRACT
Objective: A frequently cited obstacle to universal insurance is the lack of consensus about what benefits to offer in an affordable insurance package. This study was conducted to assess the feasibility of providing uninsured patients the opportunity to define their own benefit package within cost constraints.Design: Structured group exercises.Setting: Community setting.Participants: Uninsured individuals recruited from clinical and community settings in central North Carolina.Measurements: Insurance choices were measured using a simulation exercise, CHAT (Choosing Healthplans All Together). Participants designed managed care plans, individually and as groups, by selecting from 15 service categories having varied levels of restriction (e.g., formulary, copayments) within the constraints of a fixed monthly premium comparable to the typical per member/per month managed care premium paid by U.S. employers.Main Results: Two hundred thirty-four individuals who were predominantly male (70%), African American (55%), and socioeconomically disadvantaged (53% earned <$15,000 annually) participated in 22 groups and were able to design health benefit packages individually and in groups. All 22 groups chose to cover hospitalization, pharmacy, dental, and specialty care, and 21 groups chose primary care and mental health. Although individuals' choices differed from their groups' selections, 86% of participants were willing to abide by group choices.Conclusions: Groups of low-income uninsured individuals are able to identify acceptable benefit packages that are comparable in cost but differ in benefit design from managed care contracts offered to many U.S. employees today.
ACCESSION #
6646182

 

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