They say that a rising tide lifts all ships. The idea is that when good things happen, everyone benefits.
And that may well be the case with Empowered Consumer Heath Plans (yeah, I got tired of the HDHP acronym; alternate suggestions welcome):
According to ehealthinsurance, these plans are growing in popularity with young consumers and middle-income consumers. “The percentage of HSA-compatible plan purchasers who are ages 20 to 29 increased to 28% in 2005, from 20%, while the percentage in the 30-39 and 40-49 age categories fell.” In other words, younger folks are flocking to these plans, while those who should be in their prime earning years seem to be shying away.
That seems strange to me.
We’ve blogged before about this fallacy of the uninsured: that many of these folks are well able to afford cover, but choose to go without. That seems to be borne out by the ehealth survey [ibid]:
Researchers found that “previously uninsured consumers who bought health coverage in 2005 were much more likely than in 2004 to be over age 60 and to have annual incomes in the $50,001 to $75,000 category.”
And in fact, almost a third of those who purchased such a HDHP in 2005 were “in the $50,001-$75,000 income category were uninsured, up from 27% in 2004.”
Food for thought.