Study Shows Jump in Employee Use of HDHPs

October 1, 2012 ( – The percentage of employees enrolled in high-deductible health care plans has jumped over the past five years, according to a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) study.

From 2007 to 2012, the percentage of employees enrolled in employment-based high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) has constantly increased. In 2007, 15.6% of people younger than age 65 with employment-based private insurance were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan; that jumped to 26.9% in 2011 and 27.5% in the first three months of 2012.

From January to March 2012, more than one-quarter (29.7%) of people younger than age 65 with private health insurance were enrolled in an HDHP, including 10.8% who were enrolled in a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP). More than 50% of those with a private plan obtained by means other than through employment were enrolled in an HDHP.

There was also an increase in plan enrollees choosing to contribute to flexible spending accounts (FSAs); an estimated 21.5% of people with private health insurance were in a family with an FSA for medical expenses, an increase from 16.7% in 2007.

A high-deductible health plan is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one with annual deductibles of at least $1,200 for self-only coverage and $2,400 for family coverage from 2010 to 2012. In 2007, the definition was an annual deductible of $1,100 for self-only coverage and $2,200 for family coverage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) NCHS is releasing a selected estimate of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the 2012 National Health Interviews Survey (NHIS) along with comparable estimates from the 1997 to 2011 NHIS. Data for the survey, conducted from January to March 2012, were based on 24,186 people in the Family Core.

For the full study, “Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2012,” visit