CDHP enrollees experience lower overall health care costs

Individuals enrolled in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have lower health care costs and lower health care utilization than PPO plan members, according to research from the Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC). The analysis tracked more than 400,000 Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, and analyzed health care costs for the first year following migration to a CDHP and continued to monitor those usage patterns for three years after migration.

HCSC found that in the first year following migration from a PPO plan to a BlueEdge CDHP plan, members experienced an average 7.1 percent reduction in medical costs. That reduction improved to an average of 9.2 percent in a three-year period.

“Our BlueEdge plans are designed to encourage members to make informed decisions that will help manage costs while maximizing their health care coverage,” said Tom Meier, vice president of market solutions at HCSC. “It’s about using health care services more wisely without reducing access to care. Our findings demonstrate that members enrolled in consumer-directed health plans are getting the health care services they need, and costs are decreasing. This ideally leads to healthier members who play a more active role in their health care.”

After switching from a PPO to HCSC’s BlueEdge CDHP, the study found a three-year average reduction in:

• Inpatient care costs (decreased by 16.1 percent);
• Outpatient care costs (decreased by 5.7 percent); and
• Professional services costs (decreased by 10.4 percent).

SOURCE: HCSC press release, October 11, 2016.

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