CDHPs offer savings to employers

November 4, 2008

Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) can achieve significant cost savings for employers because these plans encourage employees to take advantage of the preventive benefits offered through these plans, according to a WellPoint study.

Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) can achieve cost savings for employers because these plans encourage employees to take advantage of the preventive benefits offered through these plans, according to a new study.

Employers in the WellPoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge study who switched to a CDHP in 2007 saw a slight decrease in their cost trend while costs for other plan types continued to climb.

CDHP members in the study, “Employers and Consumers Recognize Value of Consumer-Directed Health Plans,” used preventive services at a higher rate than their non-CDHP counterparts. The difference in preventive utilization between the CDHP and non-CDHP members was greater for males than females. The male CDHP members in this study had 8.8% higher preventive utilization than those in enrolled non-CDHPs. Among females, preventive utilization was 3.1% higher for CDHP members than for members in other types of plans.According to Cheryl Leamon, WellPoint spokesperson, communication is what’s needed for success with a CDHP.Communication during the enrollment period and a well-planned implementation are essential.

“Communications about the CDHP need to begin earlier and occur more frequently than communications from traditional plans, giving employees an opportunity to hear about the plan multiple times and through various avenues,” Leamon says.Once the plan is in effect, continued communications about the unique aspects of the plan can help employees become engaged healthcare consumers.