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Helping Your Clients Prepare for Continued CDH Growth
July 5, 2012
Employer interest in consumer-driven health (CDH) plans is on the rise this year, due in large part to the unmitigated increase in health care costs and the challenge of effectively engaging employees.
- UnitedHealthcare now has more than 4.5 million group CDH members, while one in four members within UnitedHealthcare’s National Accounts line of business subscribes to a CDH plan1.
- Approximately 70% of employers with 1,000 or more employees expect to have a CDH plan in place in 20132.
In addition, a steadily growing number of large employers are offering a CDH plan as their only benefit option3 (also known as full replacement). In 2011, among employers with 500 or more employees, 21% offered a health reimbursement account (HRA) based plan as their only choice, while 10% chose to offer only a health savings account (HSA) based plan. This is an increase of almost 50% from two years prior.
Employers are seeing positive results financially, as well as in the health and behavior of their employees. With a CDH approach, consumers are their own gatekeepers in health care with the expectation that they spend their own money more wisely than someone else’s. Consumers are reporting that since enrolling in their CDH plan, they are more likely to:
- Get routine preventive care;
- Seek lower-cost options;
- Make healthy choices, such as improving their diet;
- Research health care costs, plan information and quality of physician or hospital care; and
- Use a nurse line service.4
Keys to Designing and Implementing Effective CDH Plans
Well-designed HRA and HSA plans can drive savings of 2 to 5% over comparable plan designs1, but achieving these savings takes clear objectives, thoughtful planning, disciplined execution and ongoing education.
At UnitedHealthcare, we have learned that the keys to a well-designed CDH plan include:
- A deductible that is sufficiently high, at least $1,500 for individuals;
- A material cost-share after the deductible with no greater than a 90% coinsurance;
- Compelling and clear communications that engage employees and help them make informed, educated decisions; and
- A 30-50% account contribution, regardless of whether the plan is HRA or HSA; and, if HRA, parameters that allow some HRA dollars to roll to the following plan year to avoid “use-it-or-lose it” FSA-like benefit rush.
With more than 10 years of consumer-driven health experience, we know that consumers with a stake in their health care make better decisions – and we have the innovative and proprietary tools, analytics and expertise in place to move clients toward a more effective, modern health plan.
For example, our online CDH change management toolkit is designed to ease the transition with your clients’ employees as they transition from a traditional plan to a consumer-driven health plan. The toolkit includes educational, pre-enrollment, enrollment and post-enrollment information to help them understand their new plan.
The myHealthcare Cost Estimator (myHCE) tool is the latest evolution of UnitedHealthcare’s treatment cost estimation capabilities. By using myHCE, members can receive personalized procedure cost and care path estimates based on their specific health plan benefits to help them make more informed health care decisions.
UnitedHealthcare’s Consumer Activation IndexSM measures consumer behavior across 55 unique health decisions. By using the CAI, we have found that consumers in CDH plans make better decisions overall and in key areas that show greater involvement in their health.
- +3.1% more members use UnitedHealth Premium® designated physicians
- +4.6% more members use generic medications
- +6.0% more members enroll in wellness coaching
- +7.1% more employees over 40 get preventive care
These are just a few of the advantages your clients’ employees could realize by choosing to offer a UnitedHealthcare CDH plan.
To help us understand whether or not CDH might be right for your clients, we’ll take steps to:
1) Understand their population by using our proprietary tools and resources to identify population factors and groups that aren’t engaging.
2) Position their plan by helping select the right mix of plan features and benefits, based on their current position along the modern health plan spectrum.
3) Evaluate their culture and help create a rollout strategy that complements it.
4) Begin transforming their health plan and taking action by shifting their plan components to favor CDHP and promote health and plan understanding to employees.
Our comprehensive approach educates employees on the benefits of taking personal accountability of their health, emphasizing that the change is not about a reduction in benefits but an incentive to make better decisions.
Contact your UnitedHealthcare representative if you’re interested in exploring a CDH plan design or re-evaluating current CDH strategy for your clients. We’ll share our experience, scale and focus upon CDH to help design and transition into the CDH plan that’s right for them.
Sources(1) UnitedHealthcare Book of Business Internal Study
(2) 17thAnnualTowers Watson/NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Healthcare, March 2012
(3) 2011 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, Mercer, April 2012 as published in the MThink blog on 2-28-12
(4) Consumer Health Mindset, Aon Hewitt and NGBH, Nov. 2011
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