Tip of the Week

Consumer Directed Health Plans

Although consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) (also called high-deductible health plans) have affected health care utilization, they have had limited success in altering enrollees’ behavior as consumers.

By design, CDHPs lower cost by shifting some of the financial burden of health care costs to enrollees. The goal is to give enrollees the incentive to be better health care consumers. The experience over the last 15 years has been to increase lower claims by either attracting lower-risk enrollees or by reducing the purchase of health care services. There remain important barriers to consumers making informed choices, resulting in lower adherence to prescribed care, reduced preventive services, and poorer health outcomes.

To be effective insurers, employers and other plan sponsors need to develop strategies to enhance enrollees’ engagement and effectiveness as consumers

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