CDHP enrollees more cost conscious than traditional plan enrollees

Consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) and high deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to exhibit a number of cost-conscious behaviors, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The 2015 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) also found that adults in a CDHP were more likely than those in a traditional plan to be engaged in their choice of health plan and that CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to take advantage of various wellness programs, such as health-risk assessments, health-promotion programs, as well as biometric screenings.

“Employers have been interested in bringing aspects of consumer engagement into health plans for many years, not just through greater cost-sharing but also through wellness programs,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program. “CDHPs appear to be having that effect.”

The survey found the following:

• Those in a CDHP or HDHP were more likely than those with traditional coverage to say that they had checked whether the plan would cover care; asked for a generic drug instead of a brand name; talked to their doctors about prescription options and costs; asked a doctor to recommend a less costly drug; talked to their doctors about other treatment options and costs; developed a budget to manage health care expenses; and used an online cost-tracking tool provided by the health plan.
• Those in a CDHP were more likely than those with traditional coverage to say that they had talked to friends, family or colleagues about the plans; attended a meeting where health plan choices were explained; and consulted with their employer’s HR staff about health plan choices.
• Those in an HDHP were more likely than those with traditional coverage to say that they had visited the health plans’ website to learn about their plans; talked to friends, family or colleagues about the plans; used other websites to learn about their choices; and that they consulted with an insurance broker to understand plan.

SOURCE: https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_421.Dec15.CEHCS.pdf

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