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Small Business Digest


Consumer Driven Health Plans Show the Lowest Medical Costs

Aon Consulting recently conducted a survey of over 90 health insurers with over 100 million members.  The study concluded:

  • that consumer-driven health plans now have the lowest medical cost trend of any health insurance product in the U.S. 

  • that CDH plans' medical trend decreased 2.8% in 2006. 

  • That this years result was the lowest increase since Aon began tracking CDH trend rates in 2004.

Aon believes that the results show that "after six years of CDH there is now enough credible financial information about these plans to show that they can be an effective approach to controlling healthcare costs, Aon said.

The new data is a major boost to CDH plans in the middle of the open enrollment season at employers nationwide.  Due to the increased costs with traditional medical plans, many companies have begun introducing CDH plans, such as HSAs, over the past few years.  HSAs are tax savings accounts that allow a consumer to pay as they go for medical costs in combination with a high deductible health plan.  If an employee is in good health, is fairly young and isn't living paycheck to paycheck, they should use open enrollment periods as a time to think about switching their health coverage to a high-deductible policy with an HSA, in order to shave premiums.  However, data shows that only about 4 percent of eligible workers opt for this choice.

With the increasing medical costs found with traditional plans and the existence of CDH plans for the last six years, the data is finally showing what proponents have stated for years - that these newer plans are a great way for an individual to take control of their own healthcare expenses and save for the future at the same time.

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