Consumer Driven Health Plans Cover More Employees than HMOs

August 18, 2009 ( - Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) in the U.S. have surpassed HMO plans in covered employees, according to preliminary results released by United Benefit Advisors (UBA) from its 2009 UBA Health Plan Survey, a plan benchmarking poll with 17,655 plans from 12,316 employers reporting.

According to a press release, CDHPs grew at a rate of 33.9% this past year and now cover more employees (15.4%) than HMO plans (13.6%). The Northeast region of the country had the largest concentration of CDHPs (23%), followed by the North Central region (20.1%).

The average cost increase for all CDHPs at 6.3% was lower than that of the average of all plan types, which increased 7.3% this year, the press release said.

Employers often offset the higher out-of-pocket costs of CDHPs by offering employees a health reimbursement account (HRA) or a health savings account (HSA) and contributing funds. The survey found the average employer contribution to an HRA was $1,310 (up from $1,209 in 2008) for a single employee and $2,502 for a family (up from $2,274 in 2008).

Other findings from the 2009 UBA Health Plan Survey included:

  • PPO plans have nearly two-thirds of all enrolled employees (63.9%);
  • Fee For Service Plans are all but extinct, with only 0.4% of employees enrolled;
  • The average employee contribution for plans with contributions for all plan types is $105 for single and $419 for family;
  • More than three-fourths of all wellness plans (78.4%) offered a health risk assessment;
  • More than two-thirds (67.2%) of all family plans without a deductible are located in the Northeast and West;
  • Of all plans in the Northeast, 86.6% have 100% coinsurance; and
  • 52.7% of all covered employees also elected to cover their dependents.

The 2009 UBA Health Plan Survey will be available to the public after November 1. More information is at .