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This post discusses consumer-driven health plans.

Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) strive to control costs and improve quality of care by requiring consumers to take control of their own healthcare decisions. Consumers decide how they want to spend their healthcare dollars, depending on what is important to them. CDHPs are geared to encourage participants to enroll in some type of wellness program and improve their lifestyles. Specific types of CDHPs are health reimbursement accounts, flexible spending accounts, and health savings accounts.

However, there are concerns about CDHPs. The consumer may neither understand nor have the education and the tools to manage his or her own healthcare appropriately. This may have long-term ramifications on the whole healthcare system and whether CDHPs can be successful for both the consumer, the employer, the physician, and the healthcare facilities, as well as the insurers. Are CDHPs more geared toward the healthier and younger population? Are they effective for patients with chronic illnesses? Will they discourage the use preventative care and cause increase healthcare costs in the future? Examine these questions and more in your analysis.

Discuss the history of when, how, and why CDHPs were developed. Define health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts, and flexible spending accounts.

Solution Preview

The CDHP was developed in the U.S., but since its development many other countries have followed suit. It was developed as a joint effort by the health insurance companies as a starting business model that would allow consumers greater flexibility in their health care needs. CDHPs were developed in the late 1990s, and they are most commonly used in conjunction with a Health Savings Account (HSA). They were developed for a few reasons. CDHPs have lower premiums than compared to other types of health plans, which makes this a benefit for employers and for employees alike. The employer has a decreased out of pocket expense, and the employee is able to retain greater control of their health care, and primarily of what they will spend their money on, than what the participant would receive in other plans.

The employee is able to choose the services that he or she would benefit from the most, and the CDHP also ...

Solution Summary

The solution fully discusses consumer-driven health plans, parts of the plans, and how and why they were developed.