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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.

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