Kaiser Permanente breaks tradition with low-cost, high deductible plan

Kaiser Permanente is breaking from its policy of avoiding big annual deductibles by offering Californians insurance policies that may cost half the price of its standard offerings, but come with a $1,500 annual deductible and a $250 deductible for brand-name drugs. Under the plan, patients will pay "market rate" for doctor visits, lab tests and hospital stays until they meet the deductible. Preventive health care will cost a nominal fee, and while market rates will be charged for brand name drugs, generic drugs will cost only $10.

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San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration)

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