More Texas employers turn to CDHPs

By BenefitsPro

By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

More Texas employers are implementing consumer-driven health plans, according to a new survey by Texas Business Group on Health.

In fact, enrollees in CDHPs are now at 24.7 percent, up from 18.5 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, less than 1 percent of respondents are enrolled in a health maintenance organization.

"In this transition period of health care reform, our survey makes it clear that Texas employers are not sitting on the sidelines waiting for instruction or for others to lead the way into the new health care environment," says Marianne Fazen, president and CEO of TBGH. "Instead, they are taking diligent steps to help their employees get and stay healthy and obtain high quality, cost-effective care when they need it."

As drug benefits are a large part of total medical expenses, many respondents encourage high-quality, cost-effective therapeutic treatments. Typically, respondents report doing this with preferred drug lists, step therapies and prior authorization for certain drugs. Nearly 20 percent of respondents have no deductibles, copays and coinsurance to foster compliance.

The survey also finds respondents are connecting incentives and penalties with health education and wellness programs. Respondents also are tying incentives to attaining targeted health goals and behaviors while expanding eligibility to dependents and noncovered employees.

Employers are following strategic wellness programs to enhance the engagement, competence and accountability of individuals and plan rely on unique methods, such as gamification, along with print and email communications and on-site health fairs and screenings.

Roughly 70 percent of respondents say senior management is committed to wellness, and they have proper funds to implement comprehensive wellness programs this year. Another 85 percent of respondents say they believe they will have that support by 2014.

Originally published on