'Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005–2011,' and 'Time Trends in Poverty for Older Americans Between 2001–2009'

April 2012, Vol. 33, No. 4
Paperback, 20 pp.
PDF, 2,409 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2012

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Executive Summary

Characteristics of the Population With Consumer-Driven and High-Deductible Health Plans, 2005–2011

  • Generally, the population of adults within high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and traditional health plans is split 50–50 by gender. In contrast, consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees were more likely to be female in 2010 and 2011.
  • CDHP enrollees were roughly twice as likely as individuals with traditional coverage to have a college or post-graduate education. HDHP enrollees were also more likely than traditional-plan enrollees to have a college or graduate degree.
  • CDHP enrollees have consistently reported better health status than traditional-plan enrollees.
  • During the survey period, HDHP enrollees have been consistently less likely than those with traditional coverage to report that they smoke, but no recent differences were found in exercise rates, and differences were not found in obesity rates.

Time Trends in Poverty for Older Americans Between 2001–2009

  • Generally, poverty rates fell from 2001–2005 for almost all age groups, and then started rising. This correlates to the two economic recessions that occurred during the last decade.
  • During this period, poverty rates rose among seniors, as did the number of new entrants into poverty.
  • Blacks, Hispanics, and single women face a higher poverty rate than other seniors.
  • Poverty rates for women are nearly double of that of men for almost all survey years. For example, in 2009, the poverty rates were 7 percent and 13 percent, respectively, for men and women.
  • The chance of suffering a health condition (acute or otherwise) rose 45–55 percent for those below the poverty line.