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New EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Research: Enrollment in Consumer-Driven Plans Remains Low, Survey Shows
Date:3/18/2008

More than 30% Enrolled in Consumer-Driven Plans Have Household Incomes Over $100,000 a Year

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Enrollment in consumer-driven and high-deductible health plans increased in 2007, but still makes up a small segment of the overall insurance market, according to the third EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Consumerism in Health Care Survey released today. Enrollment in consumer-driven plans with a tax-advantaged account was 2 percent of the privately insured adults in 2007. One in 10 insured adults had high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) without accounts. The survey also found the percentage of consumer-driven plan enrollees with high incomes (above $100,000) swelled in 2007.

Consumer-driven plans were introduced in 2001 with the goal of decreasing the number of uninsured, encouraging cost-consciousness among consumers, and increasing the amount of information on the cost and quality of providers. The plans have been controversial because of criticism they favor wealthy and healthy participants at the expense of those with lower incomes and poorer health status.

Results of the survey appear in the March 2008 EBRI Issue Brief, available at http://www.ebri.org, and on the Commonwealth Fund Web site, http://www.commonwealthfund.org. The EBRI/Commonwealth survey found differences in the types of people enrolled in the various health plans. Consumer-driven plan enrollees are in better health, are less likely to smoke, are more likely to exercise, and to be white, male, and higher-income. They are no more likely to have been uninsured prior to enrollment than adults in other plans. In terms of behavior, enrollees in consumer-driven plans are more cost-conscious about their health care than are people enrolled in more comprehensive plans, are less satisfied with their plans overall, and are more likely to
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SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
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