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Satisfaction with consumer-driven health plans on the rise

Employee Benefit Research Institute finds customer satisfaction tied to out-of-pocket costs

The overall satisfaction rate among consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees is on the rise, but on the way down among those in traditional managed care plans, according to the latest research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in the District of Columbia.

However, the data from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey also shows that more people who have traditional plans are satisfied with their health coverage than those in the newer types, which include high-deductible health plans (HDHP) that have deductibles of $1,000 or more.

Analysts believe out-of-pocket costs are the reason for the differences in overall satisfaction rates.

The survey found:

  • Forty-four percent of traditional-plan participants were extremely or very satisfied with out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services other than for prescription drugs
  • Twenty percent of HDHP enrollees and 31 percent of CDHP participants were extremely or very satisfied with out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services other than for prescription drugs
  • Roughly two-thirds of individuals in a CDHP (67 percent) or with traditional coverage (68 percent) reported they were extremely or very satisfied with the quality of care they receive

Despite the gradual increase in satisfaction with CDHPs, Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program, noted in the announcement that enrollees were less likely to recommend their health plans to friends or coworkers, or even keep them if they had an opportunity to switch health plans.

"However, the percentage of HDHP and CDHP enrollees reporting that they would be extremely or very likely to recommend their plan to friends or coworkers has been trending upward, while it has been flat among individuals with traditional coverage," he said.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement (.pdf)
- read the findings (.pdf)

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