Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.

Bare-Bones Health Plans: Are They Worth the Money?


Health insurance premiums rise with the generosity of the benefit package. Both public and private sector policymakers are interested in making less-costly health insurance available by offering a bare-bones benefit package. This analysis develops several alternative insurance policies that would cost 30 percent less than a current basic benefit plan and examines the implications of these policies for purchasers. Although stripped-down policies are meant to make insurance more affordable for low-income consumers, they do so only with enormous risks.

Publication Details

Publication Date: May 1, 2002

Bare-Bones Health Plans: Are They Worth the Money?, Sherry Glied, Cathi Callahan, James Mays, Jennifer N. Edwards, The Commonwealth Fund, May 2002


Dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University