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Consumer-Driven Health Care Plans Hit Obstacles

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Consumer-Driven Health Care Plans Hit Obstacles

Health Care

Consumer-Driven Health Care Plans Hit Obstacles

Consumer-Driven Health Care Plans Hit Obstacles

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/18751679/18751625" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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A small company in New Hampshire provided "consumer-driven health plans" to about 7,000 people, before it had to be assumed by a larger insurer. Those plans typically have high deductibles and some form of tax-advantaged health savings account.

The company's owner, Nick Vailas, says widespread adoption of the plans will drive health care costs down, because people will have to pay more out-of-pocket and will shop for the best prices. But he laments the obstacles that he feels are holding back development of the consumer-driven market.

One of his customers — the owner of a small diner — talks about why she chose her plan and how it has worked out, and a Harvard economist talks about the market from a wider angle.

Dianne Finch reports from New Hampshire Public Radio.