While you’re likely to hear a lot about escalating rates for HMOs and PPOs (standard issue health insurance), it appears consumer driven plans are not only growing, but are getting cheaper and encouraging preventive care. Consider this from the grande dame of health policy reform:
As presidential candidates unveil their health reform proposals and as Congress debates expansion of government programs, companies around the country are quietly finding their own ways to manage health costs… The latest evidence comes from a new study by CIGNA [pdf] which shows that first year medical costs trended 12% lower for its consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs such as HSAs and HRAs) compared to its HMOs and PPOs.
In addition, the expenses paid directly by members in Cigna’s CDHPs were similar to traditional plans in the first year and 4% lower in the second year, refuting criticisms that consumer-directed plans shift costs to consumers. In addition, the two-year survey found that use of preventive care increased, CDHP members continued to receive recommended care at rates similar to traditional plan members, and medication compliance, especially for those with chronic conditions, improved.
This is great news. In my family, we love our HSA. Looks like I’m going to have to fight the government to keep it. (More good news here.)