CDHPs continue to gain popularity

Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are continuing to gain market share in the U.S., and are having the intended effect of making people more involved in their own health care, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates. The Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey found that 14 percent of privately insured adults were enrolled in a CDHP (defined as enrollment in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) combined with a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)). An additional 14 percent were enrolled in an HDHP not linked to an HSA or HSA.

The survey found that more than half (56 percent) of CDHP enrollees opened an HSA, taking advantage of growing employer contributions. Among individuals enrolled in CDHPs, 56 percent (16.3 million) opened an HSA, 19 percent (5.5 million) were in an HRA, and 25 percent (7.3 million) were enrolled in an HSA-eligible health plan but had not opened an HSA. It’s more common for employers to contribute to HSA than in the past, and the dollar amount is also increasing. Seventy-eight 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.

Cost-conscious behaviors.

Adults in a CDHP and those in an HDHP were more likely than those in a traditional plan to exhibit a number of cost-conscious behaviors. For example, those in a CDHP were more likely to say that they had checked whether the plan would cover care (54 percent CDHP vs. 44 percent traditional); asked for a generic drug instead of a brand name (48 percent CDHP vs. 37 percent traditional); and that they had used an online cost-tracking tool provided by the health plan (31 percent CDHP vs. 20 percent traditional). CDHP and HDHP enrollees were also more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to report that they tried to find cost information before getting care. Nearly one-half of HDHP enrollees, and 43 percent of CDHP enrollees searched for the cost information, compared with 32 percent among traditional-plan enrollees.

“This survey found that high deductibles are associated with new behaviors often encouraged by employers and insurers,” said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and co-author of the report. “CDHP enrollees and HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to report that they tried to find cost information. They are also more likely to participate in wellness programs.”

HDHPnews HSAnews HRAnews Surveynews
Visit our News Library to read more news stories.