Financial Firms Need to Brace for CDHC Growth

February 27, 2007 ( - The number of consumer-driven health care (CDHC) accounts is expected to reach 31 million over the next five years partly due to greater adoption rates and a favorable legislative changes, according to a BearingPoint, Inc.

In particular, the firm, which offers the plans, forecasts that more employers are offering High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), more employees are adopting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and more money is pouring into these accounts as companies hike their health care spending, according to a press release.

BearingPoint warned that in order to accommodate this exponential growth, financial services firms need to be prepared.

According to the report, in order to meet the swelling popularity of CDHPs, financial firms and insurance firms have to create relationships with other service providers, which will overcome technology and organizational challenges that come with new partnerships.

According to BearingPoint, some of the characteristics CDH account offerings should include:

  • A single sign-on (SSO) Web portal special CDH lines of credit;
  • A single “multi-purse card” for accessing multiple accounts;
  • Banks, investment companies and health plans involved in CDH accounts should link customer service departments;
  • Investment options specific to HSAs that allow participants to tap into the accounts for medical needs;
  • Consumers should be allowed to pay providers’ medical bills online, accessing the funds in their CDH accounts;
  • Tools to help consumers decide whether an HSA is the right choice based on a consumer’s financial situation, family circumstances, or other factors;
  • Online tools that help consumers anticipate costs based on likely expenses and past spending using self-described attributes of the insured and his or her dependents.

“Many companies have found that they do not possess the competencies they need to capitalize on the full range of CDH opportunities,’ said Kirsten Trusko, senior manager with BearingPoint and Banking lead of the Financial Services CDH practice, in the release.

BearingPoint lists a few factors in the report that are expected to propel further growth in CDHPs over the next five years, which include:

  • Higher than anticipated CDH adoption rates during the most recent open enrollment season;
  • An increasing number of employers offering HDHPs, which may be combined with a tax advantaged HSA set up through financial institutions;
  • Legislative changes allowing higher and more flexible annual contributions;
  • More offerings in consumer credit related to health; and
  • Increases in forecasted national health care spending.