aca & the new normal

HDHPs Are Popular Option, But Many Delaying Health Care

As millions gear up for enrollment season

Foster City, CA., November 14, 2016 /Marketwired/ — Sixty-four percent of consumers admit they have delayed health care to avoid paying high deductibles, according to a new national survey of nearly 2,000 American consumers commissioned by

This comes as millions of Americans are gearing up for open enrollment season, where they must make major decisions about their health care and its costs. commissioned the survey to dive deeper into understanding consumer frustrations with in health care and the benefits of health savings accounts.

When asked about their ideal health plan preferences:

  • 52 percent said low premiums and/or low deductibles were the most important factors.
  • 23 percent said they chose their plan because of the preferred providers available in the plan.
  • 13 percent selected breadth of services as their number one driver of choice.
  • 4 percent chose not needing a referral, such as in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) health plan, as what’s most important.

To see the full analysis, survey results, and methodology, visit here.

Are HDHPs really saving money for consumers?

A popular choice among health plans for its low cost is the high deductible health plan. However, when asked about whether this plan saved them money, a majority of respondents felt that it had the opposite effect.

“The results show that the way a health insurer designs a plan and the network of providers are not as important as cost,” says Les Masterson, managing editor of “For years, insurance companies and employers have tried to figure out ways to improve health plan designs when in fact it still looks like out-of-pocket costs remain what are most important to consumers.”

The results show that the way a health insurer designs a plan and the network of providers are not as important as cost.

The high deductible health plans (HDHP) is a popular choice among consumers because of the low-cost factor, yet a majority of respondents (62 percent) found their health care fees actually increased or simply stayed the same.

“Health insurers and employers will need to make sure they are implementing plans and programs that actually don’t cost more money in the long run. Seeking information and shopping around for health plans is a great way for consumers’ to take matters in their own hands,” adds Masterson.

Health savings accounts

An important piece of an HDHP is its associated Health Savings Account or HSA, which allows members to contribute pre-tax money to an account that can be used for health care costs. Employers often also contribute to these accounts.

We asked about contributions to HSAs:

  • 38% said they contribute between $1,001 and $2,000 to an HSA annually
  • 30% put in $500-$1,000
  • 14% put it $2,001 to $3,000
  • 5% contribute more than $3,000

Employer contributions to HSA

  • 32% said their employer contributes between $500 and $1,000
  • 31% of respondents’ employers put in between $1,001 and $2,000
  • 16% get nothing
  • 8% get less than $500
  • 3% receive more than $3,000

The HSA rolls over every year and stays with you no matter which insurer you go to. Additional benefits include assisting with the cost of deductibles and offering a variety of tax advantages.




Methodology: commissioned OP4G to survey nearly 2,000 people nationwide in June 2016.