Survey: CDHP Interest to Keep Growing

June 27, 2006 ( - The number of employers offering a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) is on the upswing, according to a new survey.

A news release said that a survey by Aon Consulting and theInternational Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) found that 28% of companies had a CDHP in their benefits lineup – up from 22% last year.

The study shows that of those employers with a CDHP, 75% kicked off the plan in 2005 or 2006, illustrating the relative newness of the concept and its growing appeal, Aon said. Of the employers not offering a CDHP, a third believe the concept is too new to offer now and will wait to learn from the experience of their peers before taking the plunge themselves.

“We expect more and more employers to offer a CDHP in the future,” said Bill Sharon, senior vice president with Aon Consulting and co-author of the study, in the news release. “Early CDHP results have been very positive. Employees like CDH plans, as we consistently see 90% satisfaction rates. Employers also like them because they are seeing a reduction in health care cost increases.”

The drivers for CDHPs include introducing consumerism into the purchasing of health care (48%) and to keep down rising health care costs (38%). This is similar to last year when controlling rising costs was the number one reason for CDHPs (43%), while introducing consumerism was second (39%).

In terms of specific offerings, 43% of organizations with CDHPs offer an health reimbursement account (HRA), 48% offer an health savings account (HSA) and 10% offer both. This compared to last year when 65% offered an HRA, 15% offered an HSA and 15% had both in the lineup.

What’s more, the study shows that of employers offering an HSA, 62% make contributions to the accounts. Of those, 17% contribute less than $500 per person, 37% contribute $500 or more and 8% match each employee’s contribution.

More than 40% of employers without a CDHP are planning to offer one in the future. Specifically, 12% plan to offer one by 2007, while 32% are undecided on a date. The remaining 56 % of employers are not seriously considering adding a CDHP.