High-deductible health plans may increase racial inequities, study finds

Black cancer survivors who have high-deductible health plans face significantly greater cost barriers to care, according to recent study in JAMA Network Open.

For the study, researchers with the Boston University School of Public Health examined the association between HDHP enrollment and access to care by race and ethnicity among cancer survivors.

The study authors used data from the National Health Interview Survey to examine this association, with 3,713 cancer survivors represented in the data. In one example, they found Black cancer survivors with an HDHP were more likely to skip medication to save money than white cancer survivors with HDHPs (22.8 percent versus 8 percent, respectively).

"This study found that the magnitude of association between HDHPs and cost-related barriers to care is larger among black cancer survivors relative to their white counterparts, elucidating the potential for HDHPs to widen documented racial/ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes."

Read the full study here.

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