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Maternity Care and Consumer-Driven Health Plans

Maternity Care and Consumer-Driven Health Plans

This report compares out-of-pocket costs of maternity care under 12 consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) from the group and individual markets to a traditional health insurance plan. CDHPs typically have lower premiums but higher deductible levels than traditional health plans, shifting more of the financial responsibility for the costs of medical care to patients to promote more cost-conscious health care choices. In some cases, out-of-pocket costs under CDHPs may be reduced through tax-preferred contributions by employers or individuals to Health Savings Accounts.

The study, Maternity Care and Consumer-Driven Health Plans, prepared by researchers at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute and Kaiser, found great variation among CDHPs compared to traditional health plans in the amount of potential out-of-pocket expenses a family could face. Since the cost of maternity care varies by the type and nature of the delivery, cost estimates were developed for three different birth scenarios based on recommended clinical practice guidelines. The study also explored other factors that affect family costs including coverage for prenatal care, transparency and limits in health care coverage, and predictability of costs.

The study was released at a policy forum co-hosted by the March of Dimes on Tuesday, June 12, 2007, at the Foundation’s Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washingon, D.C.

Full Report (.pdf)

Executive Summary (.pdf)