The gap in satisfaction levels separating members of traditional health plans and account-based health plans narrowed slightly between 2007 and 2008.

Researchers at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, have included statistics concerning satisfaction levels in a summary of results from a recent survey of 2,008 insured U.S. adults ages 21 to 64.

The base sample included 79 individuals with a health savings account or a health reimbursement arrangement, and 215 individuals with a high-deductible health plan but no HSA or HRA.

The researchers also conducted additional surveys to get replies from 1,102 individuals with account-based plans and 1,419 individuals with stand-alone high-deductible plans.

The percentage of participants who said they were extremely or very satisfied with their coverage fell to 63%, from 64%, for traditional plan members and increased to 49%, from 47%, for health account plan members.

The percentage of all participants who said they had delayed or avoided getting health care due to cost increased to 22%, from 16%, for members of traditional plans and fell to 26%, from 29%, for members of the health account plans.

Among participants with annual household incomes over $50,000, the percentage of participants who said they had delayed or avoided getting health care due to cost increased to 16%, from 12%, for members of traditional plans and fell to 25%, from 29%, for members of health account plans.