(Vox) In 2006, about one in 10 employees had a health insurance deductible over $1,000. Today? About half do.
To health economists, this sounded like good news; they've long theorized that higher deductibles would force down health-care costs. The idea was that higher deductibles would make patients become smarter shoppers: If they had to pay more of the cost, they'd likely choose something closer to the $1,529 appendectomy than the $186,955 appendectomy (yes, some doctors really do charge that much). This would push the really expensive doctors to lower their prices so cheaper physicians didn't steal their business.
This was, however, just a theory. And a massive new study suggests it might have been all wrong.
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