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More Companies, Workers Adopt Consumer-Directed Health Plans
Date:3/13/2008

Nearly Half of Employers Now Have CDHPs, Watson Wyatt/National Business

Group on Health Survey Finds

WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of companies that offer a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) is rising, and the number of workers who enroll in the programs has nearly doubled over the last two years. Furthermore, health cost increases for companies with high CDHP enrollment are roughly half those facing companies offering only traditional health coverage, according to an annual survey conducted by Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health.

Nearly half (47 percent) of the 453 large U.S. employers that participated in the survey currently offer a CDHP, an increase from 39 percent in 2007 and 33 percent in 2006. By 2009, 54 percent of companies plan to offer a CDHP. A CDHP is a high-deductible plan offered with a personal account that can be used to pay a portion of medical expenses not covered under the plan.

As adoption rates climb, employee enrollment also continues to rise. Fifteen percent of employees at organizations that offer CDHPs are currently enrolled in such plans, up from 8 percent in 2006 and 10 percent in 2007. Only 6 percent of companies report 100 percent enrollment in a CDHP, but that number is expected to rise to 9 percent in 2009.

"A CDHP offers a way for companies to control costs while increasing employee accountability for health care decisions," said Ted Nussbaum, Watson Wyatt's director of group and health care consulting in North America. "The participants in a consumer-oriented model must be more familiar with the system and have a deeper understanding of their options. But encouraging employees to adopt healthy behaviors and manage their health proactively is no easy task."

CDHP enrollment and adoption rates are rising

Year Median CDHP employee (%)Companies with Companies adopting a

enrollment (%)
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SOURCE Watson Wyatt Worldwide
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