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Blue Cross' Consumer-directed Health Plan - Options Blue - Members Not Sacrificing Health for the Sake of Saving Money
Date:3/31/2008

New Benefits Quarterly article highlights research on Blue Cross

consumer-directed member's health care utilization

EAGAN, Minn., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- In a peer-reviewed study published in the March issue of Benefits Quarterly, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) reports that their CDHP (consumer-directed health plan) members had 11 percent fewer visits to the emergency room and had an 11 percent decrease in prescription drug use, as compared to members in traditional plans. The study, which adjusted for differences in health, also found that the CDHP members used 12 percent more preventive services than traditional plan members. More than 830,000 enrollees were studied over a period of three years.

"Blue Cross was one of the first plans in the country to offer a consumer- directed health plan," explains Richard Neuner, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of marketing and sales. "We now have the largest population of members in these plans in any single state. We know consumers and employers are interested, but cautious about these new plan designs. Many people have known that CDHPs save premium dollars and this study demonstrates health is also maintained. The research shows that as a consumer-directed health plan, Options Blue is working well." Neuner added, "We have added new features such as consumer and employer communication toolkits designed to help consumers use these plans. We think that will make adoption of these plan designs happen faster, and will result in more informed, savvy consumers."

"Our findings revealed that, when it comes to services that are more within their control, our CDHP members use less than members in traditional plans, yet they are still getting the preventive care they need," stated Nancy Garrett, Ph.D., director of informatics, Blue Cross.

"Blue Cross knows that consumers and employers are very interested in consumer-directed health plans, but al
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
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