Survey: CDH Backers Want More Health Spending Control

June 6, 2003 ( - Four out of 10 Americans would jump into a Consumer Directed Health (CDH) plan to give them more control over their health-care spending, a new survey found.

The Dieringer Research Group study found that 39% of respondents now in an employer health program would be interested in a CDH arrangement. Some 24% were “somewhat likely” and 15% “very likely” to make the move. Of those interested in a CDH plan, 83% want more control over their health spending and more control over choice of health providers, the study found.

Even though many health-system analysts have said those interested in a CDH arrangement are primarily younger healthier consumers, the survey by the Milwaukee market research group in conjunction with the Pateo Health Group of Washington, DC, found that 67% are 35 years old or older. The group was just as likely as adults not interested in a CDH plan to visit doctors, go to hospitals or use prescription drugs, according to Dieringer.

Employees of large companies (those with more than 1,000 companies) are most likely to blame the skyrocketing cost of health care on doctors’ fees, soaring medicine prices and profit-seeking insurance companies, according to the survey – workers that were also the least likely to want to make their own healthcare choices. That’s so at least in part because three-fourths believe they have no control over the costs.

Meanwhile, more than half of small business employees in non-metropolitan markets expressed willingness to enroll in consumer-directed healthcare plans, compared to less than a fourth of all large company employees nationwide, the survey found.

The Dieringer study also found that women in their 30s and 40s were among the least satisfied with the information they get from their current health insurance plans. Women in general ranked the availability of comparative information high, complaining that they felt unempowered currently. At the same time, older women without children at home tended to be more satisfied with their current coverage and were least likely to be interested in a CDH plan.