What is a Consumer Driven Health Plan?

Consumer Driven Health Plans are high deductible health plans (HDHP) that are typically tied to an employee and/or employer funded health savings account. The accounts are designed to cover the employee deductibles and other out of pocket medical expenses. While employees pay a higher deductible, their premium contributions – and those of the employer – are lower. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are the most common type of savings accounts tied to an HDHP because they are tax-exempt and the savings account can be rolled over year after year.

The success of Consumer Driven Health Care in reducing health insurance costs over the long-term lies in employee-empowerment. As employees have a better understanding of their health care needs and treatment options, they will become smarter shoppers of health care. In an effort to help plan participants make better decisions, HDHP insurance providers are offering more comprehensive information on their websites, such as pricing and quality information in the following areas: pharmacy/prescription drug, physician, x-ray/lab and hospital. Insurance providers are also increasing their staffing in the Disease Management and Health Management arenas in order to better educate the healthy participant as well as to provide “coaching” to a participant that may be undergoing treatment in one of their designated “disease” groups.