Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By Freedom Bunker
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Health Spending One-Eighth

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 11:54
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

33919068 - doctor typing on a computer keyboard at officeThe Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, comparing consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs, which HCCI defines as High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Arrangements). HCCI examines a database of claims submitted by Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare for their employer-sponsored group plans.

CDHPs shift payment from third-party bureaucracies (that is, insurers) back to patients directly. The results continue to impress:

  • In every year studied, the non-CDHP population had total per capita spending higher than the CDHP population.
  • The CDHP population had rates of utilization nine percent to 13 percent lower than the non -CDHP population for all categories of health services outside of brand prescriptions, which was 21 percent lower.
  • The CDHP population spent an average annual $343 per capita more out of pocket than did the non-CDHP population.
  • The non-CDHP population was responsible for an average of 14% of their medical costs out of pocket, whereas the CDHP population paid for 24% of their medical costs.

In 2014, per capita spending for the non-CDHP population was $659 greater than that for the CDHP population: $5,140 and $4,481, a reduction of one-eighth.

Critics of CDHPs challenge these claims in two ways. First, they assert the savings are a false economy, because the CDHP beneficiaries defer timely care because of its cost, so they end up needing more expensive care. Second, they assert selection bas: Healthier people gravitate towards CDHPs.

Although the HCCI study does not look directly at health outcomes, it does indicate these fears are ungrounded. First, CDHP beneficiaries are less likely to show up at emergency rooms than beneficiaries on traditional employer-based plans (page 8, Figure 4). This suggests the traditional beneficiaries do not do a better job at getting timely care, despite lower out-of-pocket costs. Second, 75 percent of CDHP beneficiaries submitted a claim in 2014, versus just 72 percent of traditional beneficiaries (page 20, Table 12). This close similarity suggests CDHP beneficiaries are about the same health status as traditional beneficiaries, or maybe even slightly sicker.

The cost-saving benefits of CDHPs have only begun to be achieved. Only 27 percent of the study population was covered by a CDHP. Why so few? That will be the topic of the next post.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.