Popular high-deductible plans could be hurting health care

Consumers typically shop around for the best price on everything from electronics to cars and airline tickets. But the one thing they don't appear to shop around for is healthcare.

A new study found that consumers in high-deductible health plans don't price shop at all, questioning whether the plans can save money without hurting care. In fact, many consumers are instead foregoing vital medical procedures, researchers behind the study say.

Part of the problem is that consumers don't have any tools to use to shop for the best price on procedures and tests. For instance, try finding the best price for your next flight without websites such as Travelocity or Priceline.

High-deductible plans have proliferated among employers looking to keep premiums down. The plans work by having the employee pay for healthcare services such as doctor visits and tests until they reach a certain amount, then the insurer begins picking up the costs.

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