Survey Results Show That Adults Are Willing to Pay Higher Insurance Premiums for Generous Coverage of Specialty Drugs

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 31, no. 4, Apr. 2012, p. 683-690

Posted on RAND.org on April 01, 2012

by John A. Romley, Yuri Sanchez, John R. Penrod, Dana P. Goldman

Read More

Access further information on this document at Health Affairs

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Generous coverage of specialty drugs for cancer and other diseases may be valuable not only for sick patients currently using these drugs, but also for healthy people who recognize the potential need for them in the future. This study estimated how healthy people value insurance coverage of specialty drugs, defined as high-cost drugs that treat cancer and other serious health conditions like multiple sclerosis, by quantifying willingness to pay via a survey. US adults were estimated to be willing to pay an extra $12.94 on average in insurance premiums per month for generous specialty-drug coverage-in effect, $2.58 for every dollar in out-of-pocket costs that they would expect to pay with a less generous insurance plan. Given the value that people assign to generous coverage of specialty drugs, having high cost sharing on these drugs seemingly runs contrary to what people value in their health insurance.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.