Findings from the 2014 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey

December 2014
EBRI Issue Brief #407
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 872 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2014

Download Issue Brief PDF pdf

Executive Summary

  • The 2014 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) finds that 15 percent of the privately insured population was enrolled in a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP); 11 percent was enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP); and 74 percent was enrolled in more traditional coverage. Overall, 26 million individuals with private insurance were enrolled in a CDHP—a health plan associated with a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), or an HSA-eligible health plan.
  • The 2014 CEHCS also finds that among individuals enrolled in CDHPs, 57 percent had an HSA or HRA, while 43 percent were enrolled in HSA-eligible health plans but had not opened an account.
  • This study finds evidence that adults in a CDHP and those in an HDHP were more likely than those in a traditional plan to exhibit a number of cost-conscious behaviors. Specifically, those in a CDHP were more likely than those with traditional coverage to say that they had checked whether the plan would cover care; asked for a generic drug instead of a brand name; talked to their doctors about prescription options and costs; checked the price of a service before getting care; asked a doctor to recommend less costly prescriptions; talked to their doctors about other treatment options and costs; developed a budget to manage health care expenses; and used an online cost-tracking tool provided by the health plan.
  • There is also some evidence that adults in a CDHP were more likely than those in a traditional plan to be engaged in their choice of health plan. Specifically, those in a CDHP were more likely than those with traditional coverage to say that they had attended a meeting where health plan choices were explained; consulted with their employer’s human resources (HR) staff about health plan choices; and were more likely to have consulted with an insurance broker to understand plan choices.
  • The survey also finds that CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to take advantage of various wellness programs, such as health-risk assessments, health-promotion programs, as well as biometric screenings. In addition, financial incentives mattered more to CDHP enrollees than to traditional-plan enrollees.