Editorial Board

Out of Pocket, Out of Control

Copayments are meant to deter unnecessary care but are becoming a barrier to access.

The good news is that your copay made you 10 pounds lighter.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Obamacare's goal to expand access to health care has been only half a success: More Americans have insurance, but a rise in cost sharing means fewer can use it. Copayments -- those predetermined charges you pay at the doctor's office -- are a big part of the problem. In recent years, they've risen to the point where they no longer work as they're meant to. 

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