Health Care Costs Linked to Plan Satisfaction

September 6, 2013 ( – Most Americans are extremely or very satisfied with their traditional employment-based health plans, more so than those with consumer-driven health plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

According to the 2012 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, in 2012, 62% of traditional-plan enrollees were extremely or very satisfied with their overall health plans, compared with 48% of consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees and 38% of high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees.

Differences in out-of-pocket costs may explain some of the difference in overall satisfaction rates, EBRI said. In 2012, 44% of traditional-plan participants were extremely or very satisfied with out-of-pocket costs (for health care services other than for prescription drugs), while just 18% of HDHP enrollees and 27% of CDHP participants were extremely or very satisfied.

However, while the overall satisfaction rates for CDHP enrollees increased in most years of the survey, satisfaction rates among traditional enrollees decreased in most years. Between 2006 and 2008, they fell from 67% to 63%, and, after increasing between 2008 and 2009, they fell from 66% in 2009 to 57% in 2011, before rebounding to 62%, a statistically significant jump.

In contrast, while HDHP and CDHP enrollees were much more likely to report that they were not too or not at all satisfied with their health plan, their dissatisfaction levels appeared to be trending downward in most years of the survey.