With almost three-quarters of all companies offering such programs instituting them since January 2004, an Aon Consulting poll makes it clear that the trend of cost-shifting is surely present. Also, of those not offering such programs currently, 50% believe they will do so, with 13% saying it will occur in 2005 or 2006. The remaining 50% who are not offering CDHPs are mostly saying that they are unsure of the new plans and will wait to see the effect of them on other businesses before doing so.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) seem to be the most popular CDHPs. Of those looking to adopt such plans in the near future, 49% will choose HSAs as either an option (38%) or as a total replacement of the current plan (11%).
Feelings on the effects of such moves are still mixed, however. Fifty-five percent of those polled believe CDHPs make employees better consumers of health care, while 8% think they have no effect. However, many employers (22%) are worried that employees will forego needed health care to save money.
The view of HSAs in the future is even more mixed. Twenty-nine percent believe that CDHPs will not be successful in controlling employers’ health care costs in five years, while 37% think they will be successful. Thirty-four percent don’t know how successful such programs will be in five years.
Looking forward five years, 89% believe that they will offer CDHPs. However, respondents are split on how much of the workforce will be covered. Twenty-three percent believe CDHPs will cover over half their workforce, while 37% believe it will cover less than 25% of employees.
The survey was conducted by Aon Consulting and the International Society of Certified Benefit Specialists. In total, 208 benefits managers were polled.
To see the survey questions and answers, please see http://www.iscebs.org/PDF/cdhcsrvy05.pdf .