High-Deductible Health Plans and Prevention

Olena Mazurenko, Melinda J.B. Buntin, Nir Menachemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are becoming more popular owing to their potential to curb rising health care costs. Relative to traditional health insurance plans, HDHPs involve higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers, which have been associated with lower utilization of health services. We focus specifically on the impact that HDHPs have on the use of preventive services. We critique the current evidence by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the research designs used to examine this relationship. We also summarize the findings from the most methodologically sophisticated studies. We conclude that the balance of the evidence shows that HDHPs are reducing the use of some preventive service, especially screenings. However, it is not clear if HDHPs affect all preventive services. Additional research is needed to determine why variability in conclusions exists among studies. We describe an agenda for future research that can further inform public health decision makers on the impact of HDHPs on prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • current knowledge
  • high-deductible health plan
  • methodological critique
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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