Why patients with chronic illnesses should pay less

What we see from this study is that families with higher levels of cost-sharing were significantly more likely to delay or avoid going to the office or emergency room for their child’s asthma. They were more likely to have to borrow or cut back on necessities to afford care. They were more likely to avoid care.

This isn’t a good outcome. We’re talking about children with a completely manageable chronic condition who are being hampered by cost-sharing. That’s not what cost-sharing is supposed to do.

But what may be counterintuitive for those who think government insurance is worse than private insurance is that families covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were able to get care for their children’s asthma more easily than many of those with private insurance. That’s because Medicaid and CHIP have very low levels of cost-sharing. Parents of children covered by these programs were less likely to delay or avoid care for their children than those who made less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line, but had private insurance.

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