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56% of employers offer CDHP, 44% may make it the only choice: Aon Hewitt

Posted On: Oct. 9, 2013 12:00 AM CST

56% of employers offer CDHP, 44% may make it the only choice: Aon Hewitt

Once a rarity, consumer-driven health care plans have become a mainstream design among large employers.

Fifty-six percent of midsize to large employers responding to an Aon Hewitt survey released Wednesday said they now offer CDHPs. Such high-deductible plans are linked to health reimbursement arrangements or health savings accounts, which employees can use to pay for a portion of uncovered health care expenses.

The prevalence of CDHPs is expected to grow, as 30% of respondents said they are considering offering a CDHP in the next three to five years.

Because of their high-deductible feature, CDHPs are much less expensive than other plan designs, according to several studies. For example, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey released in August found that the average cost of family coverage through CDHPs was nearly $1,500 less per employee than coverage through a preferred provider organization.

“Employers are increasingly embracing plan designs that are cost-effective, promote consumer choice and accountability, and encourage employees to be more deliberate in how they spend their health care dollars,” Maureen Fay, an Aon Hewitt senior vice president in Norwalk, Conn., said in a statement.

In addition, many employers are considering making a CDHP their only health plan choice.

While just 10% of employers now offer CDHPs as their only plan, 44% said they are considering doing so in the next three to five years, according to the survey.

The findings are based on the responses of 837 employers, 57% of which had more than 2,500 employees.