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Are HMO Enrollees Healthier Than Others? Results from the Community Tracking Study

Not Necessarily. Cost Considerations and Age Can be More Important Than Health Status in Decisions to Enroll in an HMO

May/June 2002
Health Affairs, Vol. 21, No. 3
Elizabeth Schaefer, James D. Reschovsky

his study begins by addressing the question of whether nonelderly privately insured HMO enrollees tend to be healthier than enrollees in other types of plans by using recent, nationally representative data from the CTS. Contrary to the conventional view that HMOs receive favorable selection, the study shows that among the privately insured, HMO enrollees are not healthier and may be slightly less healthy. To help understand that result, evidence is presented suggesting that other factors, including cost considerations, may be more important than health when people are deciding whether to enroll in an HMO.

Free access to this article is available at the Health Affairs Web site.

 

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