Health Care Consumers May be Paying More but Getting Less

Roundtable meeting on connecting public policy to health benefit designs

The Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy of Oakland, Calif., held a discussion on:

  • the growing interest in more affordable but less comprehensive health care benefit plans as a means to maintaining or expanding affordable coverage
  • possible policy changes that might influence this development.

Key Results

  • Entitled "Connecting Public Policy to Health Benefit Design," the roundtable took place in San Francisco on September 10–11, 2001, with 29 health care experts attending (see the Appendix for a list names of participants).

    The institute commissioned five papers for presentation. For a list of these titles see "Sponsored Workshops" in the Bibliography. This project did not produce proceedings.

    Health Affairs electronically published a sixth commissioned paper produced subsequent to the meeting entitled "Renewed Emphasis on Consumer Cost-Sharing in Health Benefit Design," (available online).

    The institute, and produced three other papers with origins in the meeting: "Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire," (published as a Health Affairs Web Commentary on the previous article); "A Temporary Fix? Implications of the Move Away from Comprehensive Coverage." (published as an Issue Brief by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, a nonprofit nonpartisan research organization in Washington); and "How Low Can You Go? The Impact of Reduced Benefits and Increased Cost Sharing" (also published at the Health Affairs Web site). (See the the Bibliography for further details.)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) grant provided partial grant grant support ($10,000) for the roundtable. The Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy provided the majority of funding (an estimated $135,000) for this roundtable.

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