Workers Prefer PPOs, HMOs to Consumer-Directed Plans
U.S. workers prefer to enroll in PPO or HMO insurance plans rather than consumer-directed health plans, according to a Center for Studying Health System Change study released Friday, the AP/Los Angeles Times reports.
The study, using data from a previous survey of 2,122 randomly chosen private and nonfederal companies, found that 39% of the 2.7 million U.S. residents enrolled in employer-sponsored, consumer-directed health plans were not offered other health insurance options.
Among workers offered a selection of health insurance plans, including consumer-directed plans and other options such as PPOs or HMOs, 19% chose the consumer-directed plan. Comparable selection rates for PPO and HMO plans when employees were given the option of choosing from a variety of plan types were 55% and 40%, respectively.
Jon Gabel, study author and vice president of HSC, said that although consumer-driven plans have lower premiums, employees might favor PPOs or HMOs because they have significantly lower deductibles. According to the study, a single employee's monthly premium for a PPO was $61, not statistically different from the $56 contribution for the consumer-driven plan, while consumer-directed plans had an average deductible of $1,459, compared with a $261 deductible for PPOs.
Gabel added that consumers might not choose consumer-driven plans because they are wary of being financially accountable for their health care choices.
Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said AHIP surveys show that enrollment in consumer-directed plans is growing and that 30% of small businesses surveyed did not offer any health insurance options until consumer-directed plans became available (Agovino, AP/Los Angeles Times, 12/1).