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Satisfaction With Health Insurance

By July 27, 2015July 28th, 2015Commentary

We all are aware now that many consumers have insurance coverage which requires greater premium and cost-sharing from them, and increasingly may offer them a smaller choice of providers for in-network coverage.  So how satisfied are they with their health plan–that is the topic of an Employee Benefits Research Institute note.   (EBRI Note)   The survey divided consumers into three types of coverage, consumer-driven, which was a high deductible coupled with a health savings or health reimbursement account (high deductible is at least $1250 for individual or $2500 for family coverage); high deductible with no HSA or HRA, and traditional, basically all other coverage.  61% of traditional coverage enrollees were either extremely or very satisfied with their coverage, compared to 46% of CDHP members and 37% of HDP members.  Interestingly, however, traditional plan satisfaction is the same as it was in 2005, while CDHP satisfaction rose from 37% and even HDP rose from 29%.  So consumers may get more satisfied with these plans as they get used to them.  Be useful to see the split between consumers who have a choice of plan types and those for who high-deductible options are the only one.

On the flip side, only 7% of members are not too or not at all satisfied with their traditional coverage, 16% are with CDHP plans and 22% with HDP ones.  Again, dissatisfaction is steady for traditional coverage but has declined significantly for CDHP and HDP.  Traditional and CDHP enrollees are about equally satisfied with the quality of care received, at 68% and 66% respectively, while HDP members lag at 56%.  And again, traditional satisfaction with care has plateaued, while CDHP and HDP has increased.  Of course, most enrollees are not aware that the plan typically has little to do with the quality of their care, except in staff model plans.  As might be expected, the biggest gap is in regard to out-of-pocket spending, where 48% of traditional plan consumers are very or extremely satisfied, whereas only 26% of CDHP and 19% of HDP ones are.  Satisfaction with the ease of getting a doctor appointment has been pretty stable across plan types and over time among all plan types, although there was a sharp drop in 2014 for HDP members to 54% from 63% in 2013.  Similar results were found in regard to choice of physicians.  Finally, 52% of traditional plan members were extremely or very likely to recommend their plan to a friend or co-worker, whereas 41% of CDHP and 28% of HDP members would, although the number of CDHP and HDP members who would recommend has risen since 2005.  And while 63% of traditional enrollees would stay with the plan even if they could change, only 50% of CDHP and 41% of HDP members would do so, but again, the likelihood of staying has grown significantly for CDHP and HDP members since 2005.



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