Tuesday, September 02, 2008

CDH: Up and Down (But Mostly Up)

According to the latest Consumer Driven Market Report, sales of consumer driven health plans have increased in the past year. The CDMR polled American employers offering health benefits, and found that sales of these plans grew almost 40% over the past year, accounting for some 11% of covered employees.
That's almost twice as many as last year, which clocked in at about 6%.
But wait, there's even more good news:
According to United Benefits Advisors (an alliance of independent benefit advisory firms), health insurance premiums rose at a (relatively tame) 7.8% last year, but high deductible consumer driven plans saw a sharp - almost 8% - decline in the same time span.
That's pretty impressive.
Something else worth noting: employers contributed almost twice as much to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) than to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). I'm not convinced that that's a positive development: after all, HRAs actually encourage spending, whereas HSAs reward folks for being more careful health care consumers. The good news there is that sale of HSA products actually outpace HRAs.
Its projected that, by early next year, there will be almost 15 million folks covered in one form of Consumer Driven Care or another. That's pretty impressive, and I think bodes well for the future.
Interesting times.
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