Consumer-driven health plan participants more likely to use mHealth apps

Adults enrolled in a consumer-driven health plan are more likely to use a smartphone or tablet for health-related purposes than members enrolled in a traditional health plan, according to the findings of a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Based on an online survey of 4,498 privately insured adults conducted in December, it was found that about three-fifths of the adult population with private health insurance had used a smartphone within the past year, and about 40 percent had used a tablet. Among those with a smartphone or tablet, 27 to 32 percent used a smartphone app for nutrition information; 25 to 29 percent used one for general health information; 23 to 27 percent used one for weight management or diets and 23 to 26 percent used one for exercise programs.

FierceMobileHealthcare reported in December that one-fourth of Americans trust mHealth apps as much as they trust their doctors.

There were no significant differences in the use of smartphone or tablets for health-related purposes by plan type, with the exception of medical claims history, where it was found that 11 percent of CDHP enrollees used such an app, compared with 6 percent among traditional-plan enrollees.

Among those not using an app, about one-half indicated that they were either very or somewhat interested in using one for things like nutrition information, exercise programs, weight management or diets, prescription drug prices, medical claims history and general health information.

In a related and recent report, EBRI found that enrollees in CDHPs are increasingly satisfied with their benefits.

To learn more:
- read the findings of the EBRI survey