NASE News

More Americans Enrolled in Consumer Directed Health Plans

According to a new survey released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the number of adults in consumer-directed health plans with health savings accounts has increased to three percent of the population from two percent in 2007. Enrollment in high-deductible health plans remained at 11 percent. However, 9.8 million adults ages 21-64 with private insurance enrolled in either consumer-directed or high-deductible plans were eligible for a Health Savings Account but had not opened that account.

Consumer-directed plans are intended to give consumers more information and choices with regards to their health care spending through a health savings plan that both the employer and employee can contribute to. High deductible plans provide coverage similar to catastrophic insurance but with lower monthly premiums, and can also be coupled with a tax-preferable spending account.

The EBRI survey found that adults enrolled in consumer-directed health plans were significantly more likely to have high household income, be in better health, and exhibit healthy behavior than adults covered by traditional plans.

The survey also found that individuals enrolled in consumer-directed and high-deductible plans show more cost-conscious spending behavior in their health care decision making than those with traditional health insurance.

To read the full EBRI survey, click here.