Family medicine

The researches find that the health plan without a health savings account may inhibit access to care among cancer survivors and other adults, according to results of a study published in Journal of Oncology Practice. Therefore Only one-third of individuals with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) also have a health savings account (HSA); researchers. But “There is no doubt that more Americans will be covered by high-deductible health plans in the forthcoming years; for both people who are at risk for cancer as well as cancer survivors;” Zhiyuan ‘Jason’ Zheng, PhD,principal scientist in the surveillance and health services research program at American Cancer Society; told HemOnc Today.

High-deductible health plan

“The results [of this study] suggest that people enrolled in high-deductible plans without health savings account are at greater risk of being underinsured; and may experience difficulties to pay upfront costs for needed medical care. Because It is likely that this group of patients will reduce adherence to treatments or prescription medicine to save money and; in the long-run, these altered health care-seeking behaviors may lead to worse health outcomes.” Because HDHPs are sometimes paired with HSAs; which are tax-exempt and can be used to help pay the high deductibles and other qualified medical expenses.

Enrollment in HDHPs increased sharply between 2007 and 2017; from 4.2% to 18.9% with an HSA and from 10.6% to 24.5% without an HSA among people aged 18 to 64 years; according to study background. Therefore Zheng and colleagues sought to examine how HDHPs and HSAs affect cancer survivorship, access to care and health care utilization in their study of 95,316 privately insured adults without a cancer history and 4,321 privately insured adult cancer survivors.

Privately insured adult cancer

The researchers gathered data from the National Health Interview Survey and categorized the study population into six groups: cancer survivors with low-deductible health plans (LDHPs; n = 2,641); cancer survivors with HDHPs with HSAs (n = 550); cancer survivors with HDHPs without HSAs (n = 1,130); individuals with no cancer history and LDHPs (n = 62,818); individuals with no cancer history and HDHPs with HSAs (n = 11,366); and individuals with no cancer history and HDHPs without HSAs (n = 21,132).

Results showed that, among cancer survivors; having an HDHP without an HSA was associated with a higher percentage of delayed or forgone care compared with having an LDHP (13.9% vs. 7.6%; < .001). However; the percentage of delayed or forgone care appeared similar for cancer survivors ;who had an HDHP with an HAS vs. those with an LDHP (8.9% vs. 7.6%). The researchers documented how many months it took for participants to seek care for their first major macrovascular symptom and have their first related testing and procedure-based treatment for macrovascular disease.