My former employer has announced that it is dropping co-pays for visits to primary care physicians. Since I am still in the plans under COBRA I expect this will apply to me as well. The stated reason is to reduce health care costs which makes no sense to me. I really doubt the co-pays were causing a significant number of employees to turn minor problems into major problems because they were too cheap to go to a doctor when needed. Eliminating co-pays for colonoscopies might make more sense but even there the ick factor is probably a bigger deterrent than the cost.
The move does make sense as a way to reduce taxes as co-pays are paid with after tax dollars while employer paid benefits are not taxed. Perhaps presenting it as a measure to improve care is better PR.
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