Publication Abstract

Authors: Kozhimannil KB, Huskamp HA, Graves AJ, Soumerai SB, Ross-Degnan D, Wharam JF

Title: High-deductible health plans and costs and utilization of maternity care.

Journal: Am J Manag Care 17(1):e17-25

Date: 2011 Jan

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of switching from an HMO to a high-deductible health plan on the costs and utilization of maternity care. STUDY DESIGN: Pre-post design, with a control group. METHODS: We compared 229 women who delivered babies before or after their employers mandated a switch from HMO coverage to a high-deductible health plan, with a control group of 2180 matched women who delivered babies while their employers remained in an HMO plan. Administrative claims from a large Massachusetts-based health insurance program were used in a difference-in-differences regression analysis. RESULTS: Mean out-of-pocket maternity care costs for high-deductible group members increased from $356 for women who delivered before the insurance transition (n = 86) to $942 for women who delivered after the transition (n = 143), compared with a change from $262 (n = 711) to $282 (n = 1569) for HMO members, a relative increase of 106% (P <.001) for high-deductible members. Delivery after transition to a high-deductible plan was not associated with changes in the odds of receiving early prenatal care (odds ratio [OR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32-3.19), recommended prenatal visits (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 0.89-3.02), or postpartum care (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.42-1.32). CONCLUSIONS: Switching from an HMO to a high-deductible plan with exemptions for routine care increased out-of-pocket member costs for maternity care, but had no apparent adverse impacts on receipt of recommended prenatal and postpartum care.