Despite the extensive attention paid to consumer-directed health plans, a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that these types of plan arrangements have made only small inroads in the employer market. Such plans cover about 5 percent of all covered workers, which is not statistically different from the 4 percent share recorded in 2006 by the foundation.
“Consumer-driven plans have established a foothold in the employer market, but they haven’t grown as much as one might think, given all the attention that they receive,” says Gary Claxton, a vice president at Kaiser and co-author of the survey.
According to the survey, in 2007 the employer offer rate and enrollment rate for high deductible health plans with a savings option (HDHP/SO) did not increase significantly from 2006. That may change in 2008, as one-fifth of companies report being “somewhat likely” (18 percent) or “very likely” (2 percent) to offer an HSA- qualified HDHP in the next year, and almost one-quarter report being “somewhat likely” (21 percent) or “very likely” (3 percent) to offer an HDHP/HRA (health reimbursement account) in the next year.
Of companies offering health benefits, percentage that offer an HDHP/HRA and/or an HSA-qualified HDHP, 2005–2007
Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2006–2007.