High-Deductible, Consumer-Driven Health Plans Keep Growing

According to the 2016 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey by EBRI and Greenwald & Associates, when people consume more of the costs of their own healthcare, their decisions are increasingly being driven on how they can personally control the cost. Other findings of the survey include:

  • More than half (56 percent) of CDHP enrollees opened an HSA, taking advantage of growing employer contributions.
  • A majority (78 percent) of CDHP enrollees reported that their employer contributed to the account in 2016, up from 67 percent in 2014.
  • Furthermore, 20 percent of CDHP enrollees reported an employer contribution of at least $2,000 in 2016, up from 10 percent in 2014.
  • Similarly, 42 percent reported an employer contribution of $1,000‒$1,999 in 2016, up from 36 percent in 2014.

An increase in CDHP enrollment has also led to an increase in “consumer behaviors,” the authors write.

  • Those in a CDHP are more likely to check whether the plan would cover care (54 percent CDHP vs. 44 percent traditional plan).
  • Ask for a generic drug instead of a brand-name (48 percent CDHP vs. 37 percent traditional).
  • Used an online cost-tracking tool provided by the health plan (31 percent CDHP vs. 20 percent traditional).
  • CDHP enrollees are also more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to report that they tried to find cost information before getting care.
  • CDHP enrollees are more likely to participate in biometric screening programs when offered (over 80 percent of CDHP enrollees participate, compared with 64 percent of traditional-plan enrollees).