New BCBSA Survey Finds CDHP Consumers Are More Health And Cost Conscious

WASHINGTON - People enrolled in consumer directed health plans (CDHP) are more likely to budget for healthcare costs and participate in health and wellness programs, according to new survey results released today by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) at the Consumer Driven Healthcare Summit in Washington, D.C.

The industry-wide BCBSA 2008 "CDHP Member Experience Survey" also found that CDHP enrollees are 30 percent more likely to track their health expenses than those in more traditional health insurance plans and 27 percent more likely to ask their doctors about the cost of treatment.

When it comes to health and wellness, CDHP enrollees appear more engaged and proactive in preventive health measures.  The survey found they are slightly more likely to have regular checkups, physicals, and preventive screenings than non-CDHP enrollees.  CDHP consumers also are more likely than people in traditional health plans to participate in health and wellness programs, including disease management, health coaching, nutrition and diet, smoking cessation, stress management, and exercise.

"Consumers are demonstrating more active engagement in their own healthcare than are non-CDHP consumers, as evidenced by an increased use of health and wellness programs and better tracking, estimating, and budgeting for healthcare costs," said Maureen Sullivan, senior vice president, Strategic Services at BCBSA.  "These innovative offerings not only enhance consumer choice and participation, but they help promote health and wellness by encouraging consumers to take a vigorous role in their health and well being."

Collectively, the 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies serve 4.4 million CDHP members - up 50 percent from last year.  Of these, 2.9 million are covered by health savings account (HSA)-qualified plans and 1.5 million are members in health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

Sullivan said that, in order to continue to grow the number of people enrolled in CDHPs, as well as the number of CDHP enrollees who ultimately open HSAs or HRAs, health plans and employers must continue to work together to share information with consumers on how they can best use CDHPs.  "While there still is a lot of education that needs to be done to make consumers aware of the best way to utilize these products, the substantial enrollment growth and the findings on CDHP consumer behavior tells us that CDHPs are helping to create incentives for consumer engagement," she said.

The survey, conducted by BCBSA in August 2008, collected information from 2,791 people aged 18-64 with private health insurance coverage, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield CDHPs, non-Blue CDHPs and non-CDHP health plans.

To view a webcast of the presentation, please visit:  http://www.bcbs.com/news/bluetvradio/consumerdriven2008/.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 102 million individuals - one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.

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