Income Differences for CDHP and non-CDHP Enrollees Narrows
In the 10 years that consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have existed they have tended to attract participants who are better educated, healthier, and have higher incomes than people in traditional health plans.
However, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), in recent years, the income differences have begun to narrow. For instance, EBRI found that in 2005 CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to have household income of $150,000 or more, but by 2010 this was no longer the case. In 2010, CDHP enrollees were more likely to have household income of $50,000‒$100,000 (54%), but were not more likely to have household income of $100,000 or more (14%).
EBRI found CDHP enrollees are much more likely than individuals with traditional coverage to have a college or post-graduate education in all years of the survey. In contrast, 23% of traditional plan enrollees had a college degree and 11% had a graduate degree.
Traditional plan enrollees were much more likely than CDHP enrollees to have only a high school degree, 35% and 8%, respectively.
CDHP enrollees have consistently reported better health status than traditional plan enrollees. They have also exhibited better health behavior than traditional plan enrollees with respect to smoking, exercise, and, recently, obesity rates.
In most years of the survey, both the CDHP and HDHP populations were less likely to be young (ages 21‒34) than the population with traditional coverage. However, in 2010, both the CDHP and HDHP populations were more likely to be ages 35‒44 (36% and 27%, respectively). There were no differences in the portion ages 45‒54 and no recent differences in the portion ages 55‒64.
The findings are published in the May 2011 EBRI Notes, available at