With the ever increasing cost of healthcare, employers are constantly faced with the task of finding innovative ways of providing affordable health coverage for their employees. In 2004, a new concept in healthcare began to gain momentum. Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) also known as High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) began to spring up in companies as low-cost offerings to employees. The concept of these plans is to offer health coverage with a high deductible at an affordable premium rate for both employees and employers. In addition, members who elected high-deductible health plans can take advantage of a health savings account. A health savings account allows members to save pre-tax dollars to pay for medical expenses. Companies who offer these plans used the theme of "consumerism" to help educate employees on the complexity of the plan design. The premise of the plan is to use medical care wisely. With the high deductibles, members are encouraged to shop around for the best rates in medical care.
My company first offered a HDHP in 2005. In the human resources journal, Workforce Management Online, Charlotte Huff describes the challenges employees are facing when trying to obtain information to help make them better healthcare shoppers. Included in the article are the results of a primary research study conducted by McKinsey & Company. This synopsis examines the purpose of that study, the parties involved, and the methodology used to gather the information.
The Business Problem under Investigation
Now that CDHPs and HDHPs have been offered for the past two years, issues have arisen regarding consumerism and member access to competitive pricing and quality of care information. Employers are finding that employees are not happy with the education they are receiving to help make them better consumers when it comes to healthcare. As a result, many...