4 Findings About Cost-Conscious Consumer Behavior and High-Deductible Health Plans

People enrolled in consumer-driven and high-deductible health plans are more likely than those enrolled in traditional health insurance plans to display various cost-conscious behaviors, according to the 2013 Employee Benefit Research Institute/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care survey.

moneyThe survey classified consumer-driven health plan enrollees as those with a deductible of at least $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for family coverage who also have a health savings account or health reimbursement arrangement. Those enrolled in plans that met the same deductible threshold but who didn't have or hadn't opened an HSA or HRA were considered high-deductible plan enrollees. Here are some key findings about the behavior of people enrolled in these types of plans.

1. Among privately insured adults aged 21 to 64 who received health benefits during the past year, 57 percent of those enrolled in consumer-driven plans and 49 percent of those enrolled in high-deductible plans checked whether their plan would cover care, compared with 39 percent of those in traditional plans.

2. Fifty percent of those with consumer-driven plans and 47 percent of high-deductible plan enrollees asked for a generic drug instead of a brand-name drug, compared with 37 percent of people with traditional plans.

3. Twenty-six percent of those with traditional plans reported checking the price of a service before getting care. Meanwhile, 39 percent of those with consumer-driven plans and 33 percent of those with high-deductible plans did so.

4. Thirty-six percent of people with consumer-driven plans and 33 percent of those with high-deductible plans talked to their physicians about alternative treatment options and costs, compared with 26 percent of those with traditional coverage.

More Articles on High-Deductible Health Plans:
Scott Becker on the Rise of High Deductible Plans on "Money For Lunch"
Study: Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Spending Growth at Historical Lows
More Employee Responsibility, More Unpaid Bills? The Rise of High-Deductible Health Plans and What it Means for Hospitals 

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