Poll Finds Support for Health Care Cost Incentives

May 5, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey finds support for using lower health coverage costs as an incentive to promote healthier lifestyles.

An EBRI news release said findings of its 2008 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey include:

  • More than one-half (58%) of respondents support lower cost sharing for patients who actively participate in a program to maintain or improve their health.
  • Forty percent support lower cost sharing for patients who use treatments that have been scientifically proven to be effective for their medical condition.
  • One-third (34%) support lower cost sharing for patients who choose to see high-performing health care providers.
  • About one-half (47%) support lower costs for those who choose less invasive procedures to treat their medical conditions.

class=”2body”> According to EBRI, those who rate their health status as excellent or very good are more supportive of lowered cost sharing than those in not as good health. Obese individuals and smokers are generally less likely than those who are not to support lowered cost sharing for engaged patients, according to a breakdown of the survey results.

class=”2body”> Further, EBRI said, men are much more likely than women to think that cost sharing should vary with an individual’s level of involvement in their own health care.

class=”2body”> Younger individuals are generally more likely than older people to support lower cost sharing for those who comply with patient engagement rules. In addition, Asians are more likely than other race/ethnic groups to support the concept. Non-Hispanic blacks are least likely to support lower cost sharing, while Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites are in the middle, EBRI said.

More information is available here .