Consumers with high-deductible health plans are not as satisfied with their coverage as those with traditional plans. Two-thirds of traditional plan enrollees were extremely or very satisfied with their overall health plan, compared with just more than half of HDHP enrollees, the EBRI/Greenwald Research Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey found.
“Lack of experience with their health coverage may account — at least in part — for this difference,” according to the survey report. “Higher out-of-pocket costs may also contribute to the difference in satisfaction, but other disconnects exist.”
There also is a discrepancy in how participants feel about prices:
- Sixty-three percent of traditional plan enrollees were satisfied with the cost of prescription drugs, compared with 47% of HDHP participants.
- When it comes to other health care services, 57% were happy with the cost they pay, while only 47% of those with HDHP plans were.
However, satisfaction levels among HDHP enrollees almost doubled when tenure with their health plan went from less than one year to three or more years. The percentage reporting that they were extremely or very satisfied with their HDHP increased from 32% to 58%. In contrast, among traditional plan enrollees, satisfaction increased only from 56% to 71%.
HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to report that they had a choice of plan. Twenty-nine percent of HDHP enrollees reported that they had three health plans to choose from, compared with 17% among traditional plan enrollees. However, HDHP enrollees were less likely to be extremely or very satisfied with the number of health plans they were offered during open enrollment.
The survey also asked respondents how they select a health plan:
- Most enrollees spent less than an hour on their health plan during open enrollment, although HDHP enrollees spend more time than traditional plan enrollees.
- About 1 in 5 privately insured Americans were automatically reenrolled, although just 16% of high-deductible plan owners report they had passive enrollment.
- HDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to use employer-provided tools to pick their health plan.
- Fifty-eight percent of HDHP enrollees used their annual employee benefits guide and 41% used their online portal, compared with 38% and 29% among traditional plan enrollees.
- Satisfaction with open enrollment is high. Ninety percent were either extremely or very satisfied (58%) or somewhat satisfied (32%) with the overall process.