The American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations released results of a study that show the number of Americans enrolled in Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHP’s) continues to grow. The number of CDHP enrollees increased 25 percent from 2006 to 2007, from 10 million to 12.5 million.
High deductible health plans, personal health care spending accounts such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) and tiered health benefit plans are all considered types of CDHP’s. The intent of such programs is to encourage consumers to take more responsibility in the direction of their personal health care. The absence of copays and the presence of higher deductibles are intended to make consumers eliminate unnecessary procedures and seek lower cost alternatives, thus reducing costs and ultimately insurance premiums.
Employers have begun to embrace the concept of CDHP’s and are utilizing them to help offset recent increases in health insurance premiums.