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Rising Demands for Consumer Driven Health Plans

Rising Demands for Consumer Driven Health Plans

The companies that are thriving for controlling the healthcare costs are managing this without increasing their employees' insurance premiums.

In its place, they are doing managing the cost by means of cash incentives to attract the workers headed for consumer-driven health plans, like health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts, as said by Ted Nussbaum, director of Group and Health Care Consulting North America for Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

He added that with such plans the workers would pay up to 50% less for paying premiums than those, who are signed up for preferred provider plans or more conventional point-of-service.

Consumer-driven health plans basically involve a tax-free account for disbursing specific medical expenditures, along with high-deductible element for health coverage lest of a major health problem. Generally, both the company and its workers may put in the account, and the unused amount can be postponed up to the next fiscal year.

By providing workers another direct chance for their health care and employers benefit utilization, an average of 1% to 2% cost raises from year to year, as told by Mr. Nussbaum, the speaker of Pittsburgh Business Group on health conference on rising drifts in the arena of health benefits; held on 2nd April, 2009. He also said that the best performers are continuously lashing their prices lower.

Even though, the employers' healthcare expenditure increases have slowed, from 14.8% in 2002 to about 6% in 2008, but still they are twice the rate of inflation and an omnipresent apprehension for the businesses.

As said by Mr. Nussbaum in a survey conducted in 2008 on about 500 employers, almost 10% less companies report that they are confident about offering medical benefits for the coming 10 years than that of past years. According to him, that is occurred for the first time in last 14 years and that is a significant drop.

One of the major reasons behind rising healthcare prices is prescription medicines. Jack Bruner, the executive vice-president of CVS / Caremark for strategic development and marketing, said the crowd of business administrators that one of the problems is simple patient fulfillment. More or less 30% of the total original prescriptions for severe and chronic health conditions never get fulfilled and 70% discontinue refilling scripts in the initial year, as said by Jack Bruner.

However, the causes may differ from apprehension for the continuing costs to not perceiving how long they should consume the drugs.

As per Jack Bruner, CVS can assist the patients by means of on-site analysis and automatic renewals. Consuming a prescribed drug for the prescribed duration can help them getting rid of more severe and more costly health conditions, afterward.

Nevertheless, he warned that there is no such single silver bullet that can do everything. Jack Bruner suggested several options that collectively may save pharmaceutical expenses by up to 20%. His options are included of accelerating trend for generic medications, early diagnosis of health complications and watchful observation of costly specialty medications.

One frequently cited thumb rule is that increase of each percent in generic medications use transforms into a same-sized decline in pharmaceutical expenses.

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