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New Research From EBRI: Consumer-Driven Health Plan Participants Display Cost-Conscious Behavior, Utilize Wellness Programs
Date:12/1/2009

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Individuals in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are more likely than those with traditional coverage to exhibit a number of cost-conscious behaviors, to be more engaged in wellness programs, and to be more inclined to think that financial incentives matter in holding down costs, according to survey results released today by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

At the same time, the fifth annual survey found that satisfaction levels for individuals in traditional health plans were higher again this year than for those in consumer-driven plans. As before, the survey found that the health, income, and education profiles of consumer-driven plan participants were different from those of traditional plan enrollees: People who are younger, healthier, higher-income, and better educated are more likely to be in consumer-driven health plans.

The findings are from the 2009 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, which provides nationally representative data regarding the growth of CDHPs and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and the impact of these plans and consumer engagement more generally on the behavior and attitudes of adults with private health insurance coverage. Findings from this survey are compared with earlier surveys and appear in the December 2009 EBRI Issue Brief, available at www.ebri.org.

In theory, CDHP incentives are designed to promote heightened sensitivity to cost and quality in individuals' decisions about their health care, the Issue Brief says. Thus, account-based plans and plans with higher deductibles seek to use cost-sharing as a tool that will be more likely to engage individuals in their health care, compared with persons enrolled in more traditional health insurance coverage. Here are some of the findings:

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SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
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