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March 17, 2018  
Corporate H.R. Officers (C.H.R.O.M.E.)
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Consumer-directed health plans are gaining in popularity
August 10, 2004
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Medfield, Mass., and Sunnyvale, Calif. – When offered a consumer directed health plan (CDHP) for the first time, 66 percent of eligible employees at Micro Focus, a Sunnyvale, California-based software company, chose the higher priced CDHP over a traditional HMO. The plan, designed by benefit management firm Benemax, gives employees a premium health plan and allows Micro Focus to contain increases in health premiums.

Skyrocketing costs convinced the company to offer a CDHP for the first time. "Premiums rose 25 percent last year,” says Diana Bonogofsky, Micro Focus's North American Human Resources Manager. “We had to do something to get health costs under control. Benemax's consumer-directed plan was the right way to go."

A recent survey of 3,000 benefits professionals conducted by the

International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) and Deloitte Consulting LLP supports the growing trend toward CDHPs. More than 85 percent of respondents ranked controlling the cost of health benefits among their top priorities, and 32 percent said they would look to consumer-directed models for cost savings.

"We want employees to be healthy and not worry about whether doctors' visits and hospital stays will be paid for," says Bonogofsky. "Our health benefits, which include vision and dental, are part of a rich compensation and rewards package to attract top employees and stay competitive."

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