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Concerning Americans' overall satisfaction with employer-provided health coverage, traditional-plan enrollees were more likely than consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) enrollees to be extremely or very satisfied with the overall plan. However, satisfaction levels have been trending up among CDHP enrollees, and trending down among traditional-plan enrollees, according to a new report by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
In particular, 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, according to surveys conducted annually by EBRI and Matthew Greenwald and Associates.
CDHPs typically combine high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to help enrollees pay for out-of-pocket expenses. (See the
SHRM Online article "Consumer-Driven Decision: Weighing HSAs vs. HRAs.")
A growing number of U.S. employers have adopted CDHPs over the past decade to provide employees with incentives to make cost-conscious decisions when selecting health care services and to limit unnecessary health care spending.
In EBRI's 2011 survey, individuals with a CDHP had deductibles of at least $1,000 for individual coverage or $2,000 for family coverage in addition to an HSA or HRA they could use to pay for medical expenses. The report was published in the August 2012
EBRI Notes, “Satisfaction with Health Coverage and Care: Findings from the 2011 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey.”
Key findings included the following:
Despite rising satisfaction levels with CDHPs, EBRI noted that CDHP enrollees remained less likely than those in traditional plans to recommend their health plan and to indicate a desire to stay with their current plan if given an opportunity to switch. While their experience with high-deductible plans combined with tax-advantaged spending accounts may be proving better than they expected, if given the option many still would prefer lower deductibles with the same or better coverage.
is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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