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Research Letter
April 15, 2020

Health Care Spending by Enrollees With Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in High-Deductible Health Plans vs Traditional Plans

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Psychiatry. 2020;77(8):872-875. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.0342

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have proliferated in the US in recent years.1 Such plans are heterogenous and sometimes paired with savings accounts or transparency tools. Cost savings may come at a price if increased financial strain associated with high deductibles leads to poorer health outcomes. Little is known about health care spending among HDHP enrollees with substance use and mental health (SU/MH) disorders. These conditions are highly prevalent,2 undertreated,3 and high cost,4 which may exacerbate the effects of HDHPs.

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