CDHP Growth Slows; Cost Surpass HMOs

August 23, 2011 ( -Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) in the U.S. experienced continued growth this year – albeit at a slower rate than in 2009 and 2010 – according to preliminary results released by United Benefit Advisors (UBA) from its 2011 UBA Health Plan Survey, a health plan benchmarking survey, with 16,421 plans from 10,744 employers. 

CDHPs grew at a rate of 13.9% this past year (about two-thirds of the 2010 rate) to 22.9% of plans offered, and cover more employees (17.3%) than Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans (11.9%), according to Bill Stafford, UBA Vice President, Member Services.

The Northeast region of the country had the largest concentration of CDHPs (31.3%), followed by the Southeast region (27.4%). The average cost increase for all CDHPs at 8% was slightly lower than that of the average of all plan types, which increased 8.2% this year.

A press release said employers continue to offset the higher out-of-pocket costs of CDHPs by offering employees a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or a health savings account (HSA) and contributing funds. The 2011 UBA Health Plan Survey found the average employer contribution to an HRA was $1,656 (up from $1,481 in 2010) for a single employee and $3,198 for a family (up from $2,857 in 2010).   

“We anticipate that in spite of passage of health care reform efforts, health care costs will continue to increase. There still needs to be concerted efforts to change or alter the underlying health care issues that control costs,” said Stafford, in the announcement. 

Other key statistics from the survey results include:   

  • The average renewal increase for all plan types was 8.2% 
  • PPO plans have nearly two-thirds of all enrolled employees (64.4%) 
  • The average employee contribution for plans with contributions for all plan types is $117 for single and $467 for family 
  • Four-fifths of all wellness plans (80.6%) offered a health risk assessment 
  • As a direct result of health care reform criteria, 81.3% of all plans now offer an unlimited lifetime maximum benefit compared to just 16.1% in 2010 
  • Of all plans in the Northeast, 80.7% still have 100% coinsurance, a decline of only 1% from 2010. 
  • Less than half (49.9%) of all covered employees also elected to cover their dependents, a decline of 6%. 


The 2011 UBA Health Plan Survey will be available to the public on November 1. Only UBA Member Firms have access to the more than 250,000 pages of granular state, region and industry data. 

Click here for more information on the 2011 UBA Health Plan Survey.