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CDHP Members More Cost-Conscious, Engaged

Members in consumer-driven health plans pay greater attention to cost than enrollees in other plans, a new survey by the Washington-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has found.

October 27, 2008
Related Topics: Benefit Design and Communication, Motivating Employees, Latest News
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Members in consumer-driven health plans are more cost-conscious and engaged consumers than enrollees in other plans, a new survey by the Washington-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has found.

The BCBSA 2008 CDHP Member Experience Survey, which was presented Monday, October 20, at the Consumer Driven Healthcare Summit in Washington, found that 72 percent of CDHP members track their health expenses, compared with just 40 percent of their non-CDHP counterparts.

In addition, 38 percent of CDHP members estimate future health expenses, compared with 22 percent of nonmembers; 24 percent of members contacted their insurer to discuss health expenses, compared with 18 percent of nonmembers; 38 percent of members discussed health expenses with their physicians, compared with 27 percent of nonmembers; and 34 percent of members developed a budget for health expenses, compared with 18 percent of nonmembers.

CDHP members are also more engaged in health and wellness, the survey reported. For example, 43 percent of members participated in health screenings, compared with 30 percent of nonmembers. In addition, 25 percent of members reported exercising regularly, compared with 14 percent of nonmembers.

CDHP members with health savings accounts are more likely to access preventive care services than are CDHP members without such accounts or non-CDHP members. For example, 69 percent of HSA-eligible CDHP plan members with HSAs had regular checkups, physicals or preventive health screenings, compared with 64 percent of HSA-eligible CDHP members without HSAs and 62 percent of non-CDHP members.

CDHP members with employer-sponsored coverage are much more likely to open HSAs when their employers contribute to the accounts, the BCBSA survey found. Seventy-one percent of members who received some employer contribution either have already opened or plan to open an HSA, compared with 48 percent of CDHP members who did not receive an employer contribution to the accounts.

In 2007, 12.5 million people were enrolled in CDHPs, up 25 percent from 10 million in 2006, according to the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations. The largest growth was among CDHPs linked to health savings accounts, which in 2007 covered 5 million plan members, up from 3 million in 2006. Enrollment in CDHPs linked to health reimbursement arrangements held steady at 7 million.

The survey, conducted by the BCBSA in August 2008, collected responses from 2,791 individuals ages 18 to 64 enrolled in private health insurance coverage, including BCBS-member CDHPs and non-member CDHPs. Currently 4.4 million BCBS plan members are enrolled in CDHPs, up 50 percent from last year.

To view a webcast of the entire CDHP survey presentation, visit www.bcbs.com/news/bluetvradio/consumerdriven2008.

Filed by Joanne Wojcik of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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