Friday, January 12, 2007

CDHP Update

We've talked about some of the new, positive changes in store for HSA enrollees. And it's true that Consumer Driven Plans (CDHP) continue to grow in popularity (albeit not as quickly as some might have hoped). Still, the numbers could be better:
Segal-Sibson, an independent HR consulting firm, recently surveyed some 1200 employers, of which about 120 responded. On the one hand, such a statistically insignificant sample renders the numbers pretty meaningless. On the other, it's interesting to see even a small, unrepresentative slice of what's going on with CDH. One might presume that the folks who did respond had pretty strong feelings about the subject, which may be why they bothered to respond at all.
One interesting trend jumped out at me: of the employers which offered some form of CDHP at all, more went the HSA (Health Savings Account) route than the HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement) path. This seems to me to be just right: after all, the HSA emphasizes more personal responsibility and thoughtful health care consumption, while the HRA rewards those who spend more. Thus, if one of the stated goals is to rein in costs (both for health care and for health insurance), then the former method is desireable.
Tellingly, few of the respondents even knew whether or not their employees made use of their accounts, or the various health imporovement programs that were made available. Thus, they had no clue as to whether or not such plans were of benefit. In other words, they really had no idea what their true cost savings were, nor whether or not their employees benefitted from their HSA's. Since health insurance premiums supposedly represent such a tremendous portion of a company's expenses, one would think that there would be some interest in ascertaining whether or not there was, indeed, a real value.
What was it Bob said a while back?
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