High-deductible health plans are supposed to encourage consumersto shop around for cheaper health care services or put money awayto pay for what they need. But it's not working that way, accordingto a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine by a team from theUniversity of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy andInnovation.

An Insurance Journal report says that even though such plans are becoming more common, workers with high-deductible health plans aren’t taking anyof the actions one might expect them to take—from actually puttingmoney into an HDHP savings account to checking for the best pricesto trying to negotiate better rates, or even just talking to their doctors about costs. And evenwhen they do, they’re not getting the help they need.

“Most Americans in HDHPs are not doing things that can help themget the care they need at the lowest possible cost, and even thosewho are doing so could realize more benefits,” Jeffrey Kullgren,M.D., M.S., M.P.H., an assistant professor of general medicine atU-M and lead author of the study, says in the report.

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