Benefits and costs of HDHPs, HSAs discussed

In BusinessWeek’s (9/10) The Debate Room blog, Paul Kitchen writes, “The only way to truly reduce healthcare costs is to put as many healthcare dollars in consumers’ pockets as possible through consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), aka high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). The empirical evidence of this is overwhelming: According to a study by the American Academy of Actuaries, premium costs for CDHPs have trended as much as 40 percent lower than managed-care insurance, and multiyear premium savings reached $21 million per 10,000 employees, according to a study conducted by Aetna (AET).” In contrast, Brian Klepper notes, “As an employee-benefits survey by Towers-Perrin discovered…user satisfaction” with HDHPs “is low. Patients’ costs are high and they generally don’t get information for better decisions.” In addition, he notes, “People with chronic diseases…may exhaust their HSA money nearly as fast as they deposit it, never building a surplus.”

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