Characteristics of the Population with Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005-2014

Source: Paul Fronstin, Anne Elmlinger, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), EBRI Notes, Vol. 36, No. 5, May 2015

From the abstract:
This paper examines the population with a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) and how it has differed from the population with traditional health coverage. Data from the 2005-2007 EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Consumerism in Health Care Survey and the 2008-2014 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) were used for the analysis. Differences between the populations with traditional coverage and those with high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) were also examined. The populations of adults within consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and traditional health plans were each split about 50-50 between men and women in 2014. CDHP enrollees were less likely than those with traditional coverage to be between the ages of 21 and 34 in 2014, and more likely to be ages 45-54. CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to be in households with $150,000 or more in income in every year except 2006, 2009, and 2010. They were also more likely to be in households with $100,000-$149,999 in income in most years. They were roughly twice as likely as individuals with traditional coverage to have college or postgraduate educations in nearly all years of the survey. With the exception of 2007, the survey has never found differences in self-rated health status between HDHP enrollees and individuals with traditional coverage. In contrast, in nine out of 10 years of the survey (2009 was the exception), it was found that CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to report excellent or very good health. In the earlier years of the survey (2005-2009), the CDHP population was more likely than the population with traditional coverage to have that coverage through small employers (between two and 49 employees). More recently (2010-2014), there were few statistically significant differences by employer size between the CDHP population and the population with traditional coverage. When comparing HDHP enrollees with traditional-plan enrollees, it was found that, in all years of the survey except 2007, HDHP enrollees were less likely than traditional-plan enrollees to work for large employers (500 or more employees). They were more likely to work for small employers in all years of the survey except for 2010.