Consumer-directed health plans gain traction

Nov 18, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

By Darla Mercado

There are more enrollees in consumer-directed health plans this year than last, and those individuals are more likely to have higher income and enjoy better health than their traditional plan counterparts, according to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Some 4.2 million adults 21 to 64 are in a consumer-directed health plan, equivalent to 3% of the population, according to Washington-based EBRI’s 2008 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey.

That is up from 2% of the population in 2007.

Meanwhile, 11%, or 13.4 million people, are in a high-deductible plan this year, holding steady from 2007.

Consumer-directed health plans are intended to put more responsibility on the individual consumer.

In these arrangements, coverage kicks in after the client hits a high deductible.

The plan is paired with a health savings account, which can be used to cover routine expenses.

Enrollees in these plans are also more likely to have a higher household income than their traditional plan counterparts.

Forty percent of those in consumer-directed plans had income of at least $100,000, while just 23% of those in traditional plans had comparable income.

Those who are in consumer-directed health plans are also more likely to be in excellent or very good health.

Forty-five percent of those in consumer-directed plans reported having a health problem such as heart disease, hypertension or asthma, compared with 54% in traditional plans.

They were also less likely to smoke. Thirteen percent of those in consumer-directed plans smoked, while 20% of those in traditional coverage plans did so.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Most watched

INTV

Young professionals see lots of opportunity to reinvent the advice experience

Members of the 2019 InvestmentNews class of 40 Under 40 have strategies to overcome the challenges of being young in a mature industry.

INTV

Young advisers envision a radically different business in five years

Fintech and sustainable investing are two factors being watched closely by some of the 2019 class of InvestmentNews' 40 Under 40.

Latest news & opinion

Target-date fund design may be wrong for retirees

Researchers suggest the funds don't adequately hedge against sequence-of-returns risk in retirement.

InvestmentNews' 2019 class of 40 Under 40

Our 40 Under 40 project, now in its sixth year, highlights young talent in the financial advice industry. These individuals illustrate the tremendous potential of those coming up in the profession. These stories will surprise, entertain, educate and inspire.

New Jersey fiduciary rule: Pressure leads to public hearing, comment deadline extension

Industry push results in chance to air grievances on July 17 and another month to present objections.

Galvin to propose fiduciary rule for Massachusetts brokers

The secretary of the commonwealth is proposing a fiduciary standard in response to an SEC investment-advice rule he views as too weak.

Summer reading recommendations from financial advisers

Here are some books that will keep you informed and entertained during summer's downtime

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print