Enrollment in consumer-directed and high-deductible health plans is inching upwards, and most enrollees tend to be wealthier and healthier than the average population, according to a fourth-annual survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
This year, 9.8 million adults ages 21 to 64 with private insurance chose either a consumer-directed health plan or a high-deductible health plan eligible for a health savings account, up from 7.5 million adults last year, according to the report by the nonpartisan research group.
Enrollees in consumer-directed plans were more likely to have high household incomes, with 40% reporting that they were in households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more. Just 14% of adults with these plans had household incomes of less than $50,000, according to the survey. Those choosing these plans were also less likely to have a health problem or to smoke and were much more likely to exercise regularly. They were also more likely to consider the costs of their medical decisions.
The findings were based on a 16-minute online survey of 4,500 privately insured adults conducted in August. -- by Rebecca Vesely