EBRI:  Consumer-Driven Health Plans Now Cover 7% of Adult Population

December 14, 2011


Consumer-driven health plans continued growing at a significant pace in 2011, with 7 percent of the adult population enrolled in a CDHP, compared to 5 percent the previous year, according to findings from the 11th annual EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey. 

Sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, the survey found that 15.8 million adults ages 21-64 with private insurance were either in a CDHP or a high-deductible health plan that was eligible for a health savings account.  When participants’ children are included, the number jumps to 21 million individuals with private insurance, representing about 12 percent of the market, were in either a CDHP or HSA-eligible plan.

The 2011 survey also suggests, as with previous versions, that enrollees of CDHPs tend to be somewhat more cost conscious; were more likely to try to find information about their doctor’s cost and quality from sources other than the health plan; and were more likely to take advantage of a health risk assessment.  EBRI added, however, that they were no more likely than those in traditional plans to participate in health promotion programs.

Public Confident Employers Will Continue Offering Health Coverage

Meanwhile, a separate survey by EBRI – the 2011 Health Confidence Survey – found that 57 percent of individuals with employment-based coverage are “extremely or very confident” that their employer or union will continue offering health coverage.

The survey found, however, that American workers are not necessarily confident they could afford to purchase coverage on their own, even if they were given the money to do so by plan sponsors.  In 2011, 20 percent were extremely or very confident that they could afford to purchase coverage, and despite those findings, few reported that they are not likely to purchase coverage if employers and unions stopped offering it, EBRI said.

EBRI also found that those who are healthier and more satisfied with the current health care system are more confident the employer-based system will continue to provide health benefits.

EBRI also notes that many questions about whether employers will continue to offer health coverage in the future are being raised as a result of enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

EBRI Issue Brief on Health Care Survey

EBRI Notes:  Findings from the 2011 Health Confidence Survey