Co-pays and preventative care

Breast Cancer Ribbon Here’s news all policy makers should take to heart: Firm evidence that even small co-pays substantially decrease the likelihood that women will have regular mamograms. With the corollary that more people will get sick and die, and that long-term costs will rise. And it’s pretty easy to envision a whole slew of analogues, relative to other diseases.

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Reuters) – Requiring even a small co-payment dramatically reduces the likelihood that women will get regular mammograms to detect breast cancer, researchers reported on Wednesday.

Screening rates from 2001 through 2004 were nearly 11 percent lower for women who had to contribute a co-pay as low as $12, compared to women whose mammograms were free, researchers from Brown and Harvard universities found.

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