Results of a recent survey show that 12.4% of all U.S. employees with insurance are covered by consumer-directed health plans (CDHP). Although at a slower rate than was seen in 2009, CDHP’s have continued to steadily grow thus far in 2010. The UBA Health Plan survey, by United Benefit Advisors, obtained health plan data from 11,413 employers and 17,113 plans during the October 1, 2009 through June 4, 2010 survey. The survey solely focused on retiree and active health plans and directly related benefits.

The UBA survey is rather unique in that the survey provides not only data relevant to and from larger companies, but a proportionate amount of mid-size to small businesses. The UBA data was compiled with the purpose of supplying relevant, comparative, and factual health plan benchmarks to aid employers of all geographic areas, sizes, industries, etc. in making critical benefit decisions for their businesses.

The survey found that CDHP’s grew at an 18.1% clip in 2010, roughly half of trend reported in 2009. One reason for the slower growth rate was early year employer uncertainty if consumer-directed plans would be restricted by U.S. health care reform. When the healthcare reform legislation was enacted, it ended up not directly addressing health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) or health savings accounts (HSA) use, aside from increasing non-qualified HSA distribution penalties (after December 31, 2010) from 10% to 20% of withdrawn money.

UBA Health Plan Survey Key and Highlighted Findings

  • Preferred-provider plans (PPO) provided health coverage to 65.7% of all 2010 insured U.S. employees. Health maintenance organizations (HMO) provided coverage to 15.4% of employees. The rest were covered under CDHPs.
  • The average 2010 cost increase for all plan types was 8%, with that of CDHPs being 7.3%.
  • The largest geographical concentration of CDHPs was in the Northeast U.S. region at 26.7%. The second largest geographical concentration was in the Southeast U.S. region at 22.9%.
  • Eighty one percent of all CDHP plans in the Northeast U.S. region contained 100% co-insurance.
  • For a single employee, the average employee contribution to an HRA was $1,310 in 2009 vs. $1,481 in 2010. For a family, the average employee contribution was $2,502 in 2009 vs. $2,857 in 2010.
  • The average employee contributed $113.00 towards single coverage and $443.00 for family coverage across all plan types.
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