Global health service company Cigna found in a recent study that consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) help millions of American workers and their employers reduce health care expenses by shifting behaviors, rather than shifting costs. Cigna’s annual study compares claims experience of more than 3.6 million Cigna customers enrolled in CDHP, traditional PPO, or HMO health plans. The study found that individuals covered by Cigna’s CDHP are more likely to utilize health improvement programs, comply with medicine best practices, and lower their health risks (Cigma CDHP customers were almost 50 percent more likely to complete a health risk assessment and customers with chronic diseases were over 40 percent more likely to participate in a disease management program compared to those enrolled in a traditional plan). These actions have lead to improved total medical expenses by 12 percent.
“Constraining health care costs doesn’t have to mean shifting costs from one area to another,” explains Cigna President, Regional and Operations, Matt Manders. “Over the past eight years, we at Cigna have seen that by improving health care quality and transparency, and by incentivizing healthy behaviors, we reduce the total cost by shifting behaviors, rather than shifting costs.”