Everyone in the industry has been saying it — consumer-driven health plans are good for young, healthy individuals and the plans are the future of health insurance. New research released recently by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that right now, the young part of that equation may not tell the whole story.

EBRI’s analysis of CDHPs in the last seven years finds CDHP enrollees tend to not be in the age group of 21-34, in comparison to those with traditional health plans. The organization explains that it’s difficult to generalize enrollees in both categories, but this trend did emerge.

 “The study found that people who enroll in CDHPs do typically seem to be in better health, with higher education and higher incomes than those with traditional coverage,” says Paul Fronstein, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program, about the other findings.

EBRI says that CDHP growth has been slowly increasing in recent years. In 2012, 36% of employers with 500 or more workers offered a plan with either HRA or HSA eligibility and 16% of that population signed on. About 25 million individuals had a CDHP last year, or more than 14% of the private insurance market.

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