Health Care Costs

The Consequences of Increased Cost Sharing

by Charles E. Phelps

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This report analyzes the possible distributional consequences of several government policies for controlling health care costs. Drawing on the results of RAND's Health Insurance Study, it evaluates the potential savings from policies designed to increase cost sharing — deductibles and copayments — in both government and employer financed health insurance programs. It then examines how the cost of realizing these savings is distributed among major actors in the health care system — patients, doctors, hospitals, suppliers, insurers, and state and federal governments. The study assesses consequences of specific proposals to increase income taxation of employer financed insurance programs and to increase copayments in Medicaid.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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