CDHP savings confirmed by Cigna study

By BenefitsPro


By Dan Cook

Participants in consumer-driven health care plans tend to spend, on average, 12 percent less on their health care than do those in traditional health insurance plans.

That’s one of several pause-worthy findings from a massive survey conducted by Cigna designed to elicit trends among those covered by various types of health insurance plans.

According to the carrier, “the study provides empirical evidence that CDHP/HDHP customers are more likely to ‘own’ their health and health spending: use health improvement programs, comply with evidence-based medicine best practices, and lower their health risks, resulting in improved total medical expenses by 12 percent.”

This latest research confirmed the results of earlier studies, such as a recent one from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, that indicated enrollees in CDHPs tend to be in better health than those enrolled in traditional health plans.

Cigna churned through data from 3.6 million individuals covered by its plans. Among the key findings:
  • CDHP customers with a chronic illness were up to 41 percent more likely to participate in a disease management program than those enrolled in a traditional plan.

  • CDHP customers are 82 percent more likely to manage their health benefits online or through a mobile app, and access cost, care quality and procedure information to help them choose the most highly-rated and most cost-efficient care providers.

  • First-year CDHP customers were far more likely to comply with 500 evidence-based medical best practices than their counterparts in traditional plans. Compliance continued to increase in the second year.

  • Cost reductions for CDHP members were achieved without employers shifting out-of-pocket health expenses to their employees. On average Cigna Health Reimbursement Arrangement customers paid 21 cents out of every dollar out of their own pockets, while traditional customers were paying 24 cents.
“In other words,” Cigna said, “literally millions of American workers are reducing their health care expenses by shifting behaviors, rather than shifting costs.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com