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Blue Cross And Blue Shield Association Survey Shows Consumer Driven Health Plan Enrollees Are Taking More Control of Their Healthcare
Date:9/28/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Participants enrolled in consumer directed health plan (CDHP) offerings are more engaged in wellness programs and are more likely to plan and save for healthcare expenses than those in traditional healthcare coverage, according to new survey findings released today by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

The BCBSA 2007 CDHP Member Experience Survey found that consumers eligible for health savings accounts (HSAs) were 17 percent more likely to participate in an exercise program than those enrolled in non-CDHP products. These consumers were also more likely to engage in the following wellness programs: smoking cessation (20 percent vs. 6 percent), stress management (22 percent vs. 8 percent), and nutrition and diet programs (27 percent vs. 12 percent). Furthermore, HSA-eligible consumers participating in these programs were more likely to see positive results.

Additionally, the survey found 63 percent of consumers eligible for an HSA, tracked their healthcare expenses and 47 percent are currently saving for future health expenses. In contrast, only 43 percent of non-CDHP consumers track healthcare expenses while 18 percent save for their future healthcare expenditures. HSA-eligible consumers also are more likely to seek information about insurance as well as about provider (doctor and hospital) costs and quality.

"These findings show us that CDHPs are beginning to deliver on their promise," said Jennifer Vachon, executive director, marketing and consulting services group, BCBSA. "Our survey shows that CDHPs empower consumers and help them become more engaged in their healthcare decisions." Vachon presented the findings today at the National Consumer-Driven Healthcare Summit in Washington, D.C.

The CDHP Member Experience Survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks for BCBSA in August 2007. CDHP participants are defined as consumers enrolled in HSA-eligible health plans. The survey collected information from 3,000 consumers enrolled in Blue Cross and Blue Shield CDHPs, non-Blue CDHPs and non-CDHP health plans to gain insight on consumer characteristics, consumer engagement and consumer satisfaction.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have at least 3.1 million CDHP enrollees and at least 1.7 million members with HSA eligible products, according to research published by Atlantic Information Services.

The BCBSA survey found that HSA-eligible enrollees represent all age segments, with demand also coming from broad income and education levels of the population. In addition, those consumers enrolled or eligible for a HSA reported that they are not forgoing care at a higher rate than consumers that receive traditional healthcare coverage.

Responding to the growing interest in CDHP products, BCBSA opened the Blue Healthcare Bank SM in early 2007. The bank provides healthcare-related banking for individuals with HSAs, flexible spending accounts and health reimbursement arrangements (http://www.bcbs.com/innovations/healthcare/). In addition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country are offering members personal health records to help them better track and manage their care.

"These innovative offerings demonstrate Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' commitment to improving the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare," commented Vachon. "We continuously are finding ways to promote greater healthcare quality and cost transparency and are pioneering programs to encourage consumers to adopt healthy lifestyles."

To view Jennifer Vachon's presentation, CDHPs: Consumer Perspectives to the Consumer Driven Healthcare Summit, visit http://www.bcbs.com/news/bluetvradio/consumerdriven2007/.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 99 million individuals - nearly one-in-three of all Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit http://www.BCBS.com.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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