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.