Consumer-Driven Health Plans (CDHPs): The Basics for Employers

In the broadest sense, healthcare consumerism has always been about empowering healthcare consumers to select more cost-effective, appropriate care. Anthem’s 2018 National Health Benefits Statistics & Trends Report says that “90 percent of consumers want to do a better job of managing their own healthcare and medical spending.” Overall consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are more than just about having high deductibles. Specifically, they aim to achieve the following goals:

  • Help employees become active participants in their health care decision-making rather than remaining passive.
  • Encourage employees to spend their health care dollars wisely by seeking care from providers who are cost-efficient and provide quality care.
  • Help employees take charge of their health by helping them understand their conditions and treatment options, and change their behaviors to eliminate unnecessary health risks.

Beyond understanding the cost of healthcare, many employees are not engaged in taking charge of their health. One example is the growing prevalence of obesity in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates conducted a 2018 study that looked at “the impact of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) on the behavior and attitudes of health care consumers.” Overall, they found that these consumers are more engaged with their health plan than those not enrolled in a HDHP.

Employee behavior and lifestyle are significant factors in health status—often eclipsing genetics, the environment or access to care—and can have a huge impact on the cost of healthcare. Employers, who pay the majority of their employees’ healthcare costs, have an enormous stake in engaging their employees in their own healthcare.

Studies have shown that behaviors can be modified through the use of workplace wellness programs. These programs can motivate employees to eat healthier, exercise more and stop smoking—all of which can help reduce future medical costs. CDHPs encourage employees to take charge of their own well-being and spend their health dollars wisely. Check back with us soon as we plan on discussing ways that employers can increase the success of their CDHPs by engaging employees in their own healthcare.

If you have any questions for our Employee Benefits Management Group (EBMG) or are interested in setting up a CDHP, contact Rose & Kiernan, Inc. here or by calling (800) 242-4433. Advice given in this article is for information purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of an insurance professional.

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