The RAND Corporation's COMPARE initiative provides information and tools to help policymakers, the media, and others understand, design, and evaluate health care policies. The COMPARE Web site presents a range of policy options that allows the user to explore the effects of commonly proposed health care reforms.

This document explores how increased cost participation by employees would affect health system performance along nine dimensions. Increased cost sharing will reduce health care spending. Its effects on consumer financial risk, waste, reliability, patient experience, health, and coverage are uncertain. It would not affect health system capacity. Plans with a high amount of cost sharing are relatively easy to implement.

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