While 84% of participants in a recent study of high-deductible health plans know their plan includes a deductible (and 70% could correctly name the dollar amount within a 20% range), nearly half of all study participants mistakenly believe that their deductible applied to both preventive and non-preventive office visits and medical tests. Further, The Kaiser Foundation Research Institute study reveals that fewer than one in five participants understand that a preventive office visit is exempt from their deductible, and only one in 10 understand that preventive tests also are exempt.

As more employees enroll in high-deductible health plans, employers must be even more clear and consistent with their health benefits education to ensure participants use the plan as it was intended. If consumers are unaware of their specific health plan details, they may avoid preventive care unnecessarily, leading to more serious health issues and higher costs down the road.

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