CDHP Enrollment Grew 22% in 2010

April 27, 2011 ( – The number of workers enrolled in Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) grew by 22% in 2010, up from 23 million in 2009 to 28 million last year, according to an analysis of the Mercer National Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Plans commissioned by the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO).

While PPO enrollment has remained steady at 69% since 2008, CDHPs were the only type of plan to show enrollment growth, from 7% in 2008 to 11% in 2010. This trend corresponds with a slight, but steady decline in HMO enrollment over that same period, the AAPPO said in a press release.  

The analysis found that while employers of all sizes increased their CDHP offerings, very large employers — companies with more than 20,000 employees — were the major driver of the rise in CDHP offerings in 2010. Fifty-one percent of the nation’s largest companies offered their employees a CDHP model compared with just 43% in 2009. The number of small employers (10 – 499 employees) offering employees a CDHP jumped from 9% to 15%.

In addition, employers of all sizes surveyed expect to increase their CDHP offerings in the future.

According to the press release, of the 254 million Americans that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates have private or government health insurance, 203 million were enrolled in PPO-based plans, including point-of-service and consumer-driven plans. HMO enrollees represented the remaining 51 million (or 19%). 

“Last year’s economic slowdown combined with the rising cost of health care forced employers of all sizes to seek innovative ways to reduce what they spend to cover their employees. Given the cost savings inherent in the consumer-directed model, it’s clear that employers — especially our largest ones — are increasingly looking to CDHPs to do that” said Karen Greenrose, AAPPO President and CEO, in the announcement. “In today’s tough environment, CDHPs — which are predominantly built on PPO networks — offer the affordability, choice and access that employers and consumers alike are looking for.”  

The survey report can be purchased from