Enrollees more satisfied with consumer-directed health plans

Enrollees in consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) are reporting rising levels of satisfaction with their benefits, according to a new report from the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

The EBRI pegs this rise in satisfaction primarily to ever-rising deductibles and co-payments. "Satisfaction rates for out-of-pocket costs appear to be trending downward among those with traditional coverage and upward for those with consumer-driven plans," Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program and the report's writer, said Wednesday in a statement.

CDHPs and high-deductible plans have been growing in popularity as an option among employer groups and individual consumers to save money. In 2010, the EBRI reported steady growth of CDHPs as an alternative coverage choice. According to the new report, the analysis considered a plan a CDHP or high-deductible if it had a deductible of $1,000 or more for an individual or $2,000 or more for families.

In 2011, 71 percent of those enrolled in CDHPs said they were satisfied with the quality of care they received from their plans, the same level as those in traditional plans. That compares to 63 percent for CDHPs in 2005, versus 70 percent for traditional plans. High-deductible plans have levels of satisfaction about 10 percentage points lower.

However, there is a much larger gap in terms of overall plan satisfaction. Fifty-seven percent of those enrolled in traditional plans said the were satisfied with their coverage in 2011, versus 46 percent of those enrolled in CDHPs and 37 percent in high-deductible plans.

To learn more:
- read the EBRI statement and report (.pdf)