NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that more employers are opting for consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) as they look for ways to reduce costs. The individual CDHP market is also growing as the unemployed look for affordable health insurance options. According to recent Health Plan Analysis reports, employers will continue to utilize account-based and high-deductible options in light of strained budgets and anticipated increases in premiums.
"We're seeing increases in CDHP enrollment across the board, both in places like Minnesota where employers were early-adopters of high-deductible plans and now in areas like North Carolina that have been hit hard by the economic downturn," said Paula Wade, assistant director, Health Plan Analysis. "What remains to be seen is how the federal COBRA subsidy will reduce demand for individual consumer-driven plans, as more workers elect to continue group benefits through COBRA instead of choosing an individual CDHP."
The federal subsidy for COBRA insurance is part of the federal stimulus package and includes a 65 percent subsidy on the cost of COBRA premiums for up to nine months.
Drug Coverage and CDHPs
According to the recent North & South Carolina Health Plan Analysis, wellness and pharmaceutical benefits will be an important element of CDHPs' success.
"Many CDHPs cover only generic medications and lower-cost options, if they carry a pharmacy benefit at all," said Wade. "As a result, the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in consumers selecting COBRA coverage over an individual CDHP, because the group plan is more likely to have more substantial drug coverage."
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