Health insurance design is a critical piece of the health care puzzle. Depending on the structure of the coverage and who determines benefits, insurance can promote greater use of effective health care, drive prices, and provide incentives for high-value services and high-quality providers. It can also ensure protections against catastrophic health care costs – a protection afforded to too few Americans today. This paper aims to clarify the major decisions involved in health insurance benefit design, and discuss them in the larger context of health reform.
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