By Jerry Geisel, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (Sept. 22, 2014) — Enrollment in high-deductible health insurance plans, including consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), continues to grow, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) said in a report Sept. 16.
Through the end of March, 36 percent of those under age 65 with private health insurance coverage were enrolled in a high-deductible plan—defined as plans with deductibles of at least $1,250 for single coverage and $2,500 for family coverage—according to the NCHS report. Private health insurance coverage includes both employment-based coverage and individual policies.
Of that 36 percent, 12 percent were enrolled in CDHPs, which are high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts (HSAs), while 24 percent were enrolled in high-deductible plans not linked to HSAs.
Both types of plans have been growing rapidly in recent years. For example, in 2009 just 6.6 percent of the under age 65 population with health insurance coverage were covered in a CDHP compared with the current 12 percent coverage rate.
In addition, the current 24 percent coverage rate in high-deductible health insurance plans compares to just 15.9 percent in 2009.
The key reason for the growth of high-deductible plans is their lower cost. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that the average premium in 2014 for family coverage provided through a CDHP was $15,401—nearly $2,000 less than the average premium of $17,333 for family coverage offered through a preferred provider organization.
This report appeared on the website of Crain's Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.