A Survey Of Americans With High-Deductible Health Plans Identifies Opportunities To Enhance Consumer Behaviors

Publication Abstract

Kullgren, Jeffrey T., Betsy Q. Cliff, Chris D. Krenz, Helen Levy, Brady T. West, A. Mark Fendrick, Jonathan So, and Angela Tsai Fagerlin. 2019. "A Survey Of Americans With High-Deductible Health Plans Identifies Opportunities To Enhance Consumer Behaviors." Health Affairs, 38(3): 416-424.

Most high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees do not engage in consumer behaviors such as price shopping. Why not? We surveyed 1,637 Americans in HDHPs-which can be linked to health savings accounts (HSAs) but usually are not-about factors that may predict, facilitate, or impede HDHP enrollees' engagement in consumer behaviors. We found that having an HSA was associated with saving for future care, high financial literacy was associated with comparing prices and quality, and high confidence in talking with providers about costs and trying to negotiate prices was associated with engaging in these behaviors. Employer HSA contributions were the most frequent facilitator of saving, websites were the most frequent facilitators of comparing prices and quality, and "someone at the doctor's office" was the most frequent facilitator of discussing costs with providers and trying to negotiate prices. The most frequent impediment to all of these behaviors was not having considered them when making decisions. These results suggest strategies that health plans, employers, and health systems should explore to promote greater engagement in consumer behaviors among patients in HDHPs.


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