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Study Shows Consumers With High Deductible Health Plans Are More Savvy About Controlling Costs, Improving Health
Date:4/15/2009

"Everyone plays a role in this transformation, from the broker who sells health care plans, to the employer who offers health coverage to his employees, to the physician who treats patients, to the end consumers who ultimately make the decisions that play a huge part in how healthy they are," he added.

IBC's Office of Consumerism, formed in 2007, sets the company's consumerism strategy, implements projects to benefit health care consumers, and collaborates with business partners and employer groups to expand consumerism efforts.

IBC's research found:

  • HDHP members more engaged. Consumers in high-deductible plans appear to be more engaged in making health care decisions than consumers in more traditional managed care plans such as HMOs or PPOs. This is especially true when it comes to managing a chronic condition. Fifty-seven percent of HDHP members with chronic conditions say they are actively involved in treatment decisions, versus 37 percent of members who are in other managed care plans.

  • Demand for high-deductible plans growing. In the Philadelphia market, adoption of HDHPs is growing, and in 2008, IBC saw a 109 percent increase in HDHP enrollment. As employers deal with more challenging times, more may begin to offer HDHPs as a cost saving option that will also encourage their employees to become better-educated consumers of health care.

  • Health plans regarded as a key source of information. Consumers are not yet confident in their ability to make health care decisions and they continue to look for guidance from traditional sources such as friends, family, and their physicians. However, consumers have now begun to regard their health plans as a viable source for information, particularly when exploring treatment options or the cost of c
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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