Employers Take Another Look at CDHPs

While consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have been shown in the past to generate savings for employers and workers alike, the CDHP movement now might be losing some steam, according to a pair of industry studies.

CDHPs — high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) often paired with health savings accounts — made up 22.5 percent of all health care plans offered in the U.S. in 2012, according to the latest release from the UBA Health Plan Survey. That figure compares with 22.9 percent in 2011 — the first decline since 2007.

There’s no shortage of research that points to the positives of these types of plans. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that HDHPs had average premiums of just under $5,000 for single coverage in 2012 — about 15 percent less than preferred provider organization (PPO) plans, according to a report in MarketWatch. Another report by the RAND Corp. noted that patients with CDHPs tended to see significantly lower overall medical costs and used fewer brand-name drugs.

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