'Consumer Engagement in Health Care: The Use of Lower Cost Sharing,' and 'Income of the Elderly Population Age 65 and Over, 2007'

May 2009, Vol. 30, No. 5
Paperback, 24 pp.
PDF, 722 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2009

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Executive Summary

Consumer Engagement in Health Care: The Use of Lower Cost Sharing


THE 2008 EBRI/MGA CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT IN HEALTH CARE SURVEY: This survey examined opinions regarding the appropriate use of lower cost sharing as an incentive to change the way individuals use the health care system.


HIGHLIGHTS: More than half (58 percent) of individuals support lower cost sharing for patients who actively participate in a program to maintain or improve their health; 40 percent support lower cost sharing for patients who use treatments that have been scientifically proven to be effective for their medical condition; one-third (34) percent support lower cost sharing for patients who choose to see high-performing health care providers; and about one-half (47 percent) support lower cost sharing for patients who choose less invasive procedures to treat their medical conditions.


HEALTH AFFECTS OUTLOOK: Persons who self-rate their health status as excellent or very good are more supportive of lowered cost sharing than those whose health not as good. Obese individuals and smokers are generally less likely than those who are not to support lowered cost sharing for engaged patients.


GENDER/AGE: Men are much more likely than women to think that cost sharing should vary with an individual’s level of engagement in their own health care. Younger individuals are generally more likely than older individuals to support lower cost sharing for those who comply with patient engagement rules.


RACE/ETHNICITY: Asians are across the board more likely than other race/ethnic groups to support the concept. Non-Hispanic blacks were least likely to support lower cost sharing, while Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites were in the middle.


Income of the Elderly Population Age 65 and Over, 2007


IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL SECURITY: In 2007, Social Security continued to be the largest source of income for those currently age 65 and older, accounting for 38.6 percent of their income on average. Pension and annuity income was 18.6 percent, income from assets 15.6 percent, and income from earnings was 25.3 percent.