An Early Portrait of Consumer-Directed Health Benefits: Design, Integration, Penetration, and Effects

What is the prevalence of consumer driven health benefits (CDHBs) in the market and what is the early evidence about how the movement toward CDHBs has affected cost and quality? The analyses included three categories of CDHBs: health retirement accounts, tiered or flexible benefit design products, and tiered network or treatment option models. Specifically, the researchers 1) assessed the enrollment in and features of different types of CDHBs, 2) assessed the effects of these newly-introduced products, 3) generated hypotheses about the longer term prospects and impact of CDHBs, and 4) derived policy recommendations aimed at maximizing the value of CDHBs. This study provides purchasers and other private and public decisionmakers with early information about what consumer driven health benefit plans are and how they affect cost and quality.