|In 2005, the U.S. spent almost $2 trillion on healthcare. That,
at 16 percent of GDP, is far higher even than Western European
countries. (Germany and France, for example, spent 11 percent
of GDP on healthcare.) In the U.S., almost 40 percent of this
pie is paid by employers, whose cost has grown at over 12 percent
per year since 2001.
is critical that employers gain control of healthcare costs.
Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHP) hold tremendous promise
in achieving this. Early indications are that they immediately
reduce annual growth in healthcare costs to less than 3.0 percent
and, in many cases, are resulting in material YOY declines!
wave of enabling federal legislation has offered tax advantages
to CDHP and to the Health Savings Accounts that often accompany
them. As a result, almost 50 percent of U.S. employers are expected
to offer CDHP in 2007. Analysts project that the number of people
with Health Savings Accounts will grow from 5 million in 2006
to 15-25 million by 2010, with HSA balances in excess of $75
despite adoption of CDHP and the proliferation of editorial-based
and community-based healthcare websites such as Revolution.com,
WebMD.com, and DailyStrength.org, the promise of healthcare
consumerism has stalled. A combination of apathy, procrastination
and simple confusion over the complexity of managing one's own
healthcare is contributing to the failure of employees to take
the critical step of activating CDHP.