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Survey: CDHPs Increasingly Favored Over HMOs

By SHRM Online staff  8/31/2009
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Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have become U.S. employers’ first choice of employee health plan coverage, surpassing health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, according to the 2009 UBA Health Plan Survey.

In 2009, CDHPs grew at a rate of 33.9 percent. Today they cover slightly more employees than HMOs (15.4 percent vs. 13.6 percent, respectively), according to the survey that was conducted Oct. 1, 2008, through June 5, 2009. Findings are based on responses from 17,655 health plans sponsored by 12,316 employers nationwide.

SHRM Online reported on the trend among employers to eliminate HMO plans and use the more efficient network model on June 8, 2009.

Only 0.4 percent of employees were enrolled in fee for service plans, according to the UBA survey, whose preliminary results were released Aug. 18, 2009.

CDHPs, which have high deductibles, are offered along with a personal account such as a health reimbursement account (HRA) or a health savings account that the employee can use to pay a portion of costs that the employer plan doesn’t cover.

The average employer contribution to an HRA for a single employee in 2009 was $1,310; in 2008 it was $1,209. The employer contribution to an HRA for a family in 2009 was $2,502; in 2008 it was $2,274.

Other findings:

  • The Northeast has the largest concentration (23 percent) of CDHPs in the U.S.

  • CDHPs saw, on average, a 6.3 percent cost increase.

  • All other plan types had an average cost increase of 7.3 percent.

  • More than three-fourths of all wellness plans offered a health risk assessment.

  • More than two-thirds of all family plans that do not have a deductible are located in the U.S.’s Northeast and West.

  • Among all plan types, $105 was the average employee contribution for single coverage for plans that had contributions; the average employee contribution for family coverage was $419.

  • Slightly more than half of all covered employees elected to cover their dependents.

The survey will be available to the public after Nov. 1, 2009, according to the UBA.

Related Articles:

More Turn to Aggressive Health Cost Strategies, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, July 22, 2009

Strategically Controlling Health Costs with High-Deductible Plans, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, June 8, 2009

Survey: More Large Employers Offer CDHPs, See Cost Benefits, HR News, March 21, 2008 

Other Resources:

HR Magazine: Glossary of Health Benefit Terms, August 2008

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