Consumer-Driven Health Plans Pass HMOs in Popularity of Plans Offered: Survey

By Joanne Wojcik

Sep. 17, 2012

Consumer-driven health plans with high deductibles have surpassed health maintenance organizations to become the second most common plan design offered by U.S. employers, a survey by benefit consultant Aon Hewitt has found.

Fifty-eight percent of more than 1,800 employers surveyed by Aon Hewitt offered some type of CDHP in 2011, while 38 percent offered HMOs, 15 percent offered point-of-service plans, 12 percent offered exclusive provider organization plans and 5 percent offered indemnity plans. PPOs remain the most popular health plan option, offered by 79 percent of employers surveyed.

The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because many employers offer more than one plan option to employees.

Although CDHPs are being offered by more U.S. employers, enrollment in the plans still lags behind that of other plan types. For example, PPO plan enrollment rates averaged 69 percent, making it the most popular plan among employees, followed by POS plans, whose enrollment averaged 49 percent. By comparison, enrollments averaged 43 percent in CDHPs with health reimbursement arrangements, 28 percent in CDHPs with health savings accounts and 14 percent in CDHPs without any accompanying savings accounts.

CDHPs with either an HRA or HSA also experienced the smallest cost increase in 2001, averaging 6 percent. By comparison, POS, HMO and EPOs experienced cost increases averaging 8 percent in 2011. Costs increased by an average of 7 percent for CDHPs without savings accounts, PPO plans and indemnity plans.

Joanne Wojcik writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email

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Joanne Wojcik writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

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