CDHP Enrollees Pay Attention to Cost, Wellness

October 21, 2008 ( - A survey by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association found that those enrolled in a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) are more cost-conscious and more likely to participate in health and wellness programs than those with a traditional plan, particularly if a CDHP enrollee has opened a health savings account.

According to a news release, those enrolled in a CDHP with an HSA are 30% more likely to track their health expenses and 27% more likely to ask their doctors about the cost of treatment, compared with those in traditional plans. In addition, the survey found that the CDHP population uses more preventive care services than those enrolled in a traditional health plan; however, both groups reported similar use of services such as diagnostic imaging, outpatient procedures, emergency room visits, and inpatient procedures.

The industrywide survey, CDHP Member Experience Survey, found that 69% of consumers were offered a health savings account-eligible CDHP in 2008 and 25% chose to enroll, the news release said. In contrast, 34% of consumers were offered an HSA-eligible CDHP in 2005 and 17% chose to enroll. Total enrollment reached 12.5 million in 2007 – an increase of 25% compared with 2006, according to the BCBSA.

Survey results indicate that enrollees with employer-sponsored coverage are more likely to open an HSA account if their employer makes a contribution to the account.

Twenty-seven percent of enrollees in both CDHP and non-CDHP plans had incomes of $50,000 to $75,000 in 2008. However, a higher percentage of CDHP enrollees had incomes greater than $75,000 and fewer made less than $50,000, compared with their traditional plan counterparts.

More information, including a Webcast of a presentation by Maureen Sullivan, senior vice president of Strategic Services at BCBSA, is at .