When Co-Pays Get in the Way of Health (The New York Times)



In his New York Times article about the adverse trade-offs associated with medical co-pays, Harvard’s Sendhil Mullainathan refers to his work with Joshua Schwartzstein, an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth.

Regarding co-pays, Mullainathan writes, “The logic is simple: if patients face costs, they will think more carefully about the benefits.” However, the article notes, “People are not overusing ineffective drugs; they are underusing highly effective ones.”

This is a dilemma that the researchers call “behavioral hazard,” writes Mullainathan, who says, “We’ve found that co-payments do not resolve behavioral hazard. They make it worse. They reduce the use of a drug that is already underused.”

Read the full story, published 8/10/13 by The New York Times.


Office of Communications