HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that more employers are opting for consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) as they look for ways to reduce costs. The individual CDHP market is also growing as the unemployed look for affordable health insurance options. According to recent Health Plan Analysis reports, employers will continue to utilize account-based and high-deductible options in light of strained budgets and anticipated increases in premiums.

"We're seeing increases in CDHP enrollment across the board, both in places like Minnesota where employers were early-adopters of high-deductible plans and now in areas like North Carolina that have been hit hard by the economic downturn," said Paula Wade, assistant director, Health Plan Analysis. "What remains to be seen is how the federal COBRA subsidy will reduce demand for individual consumer-driven plans, as more workers elect to continue group benefits through COBRA instead of choosing an individual CDHP."

The federal subsidy for COBRA insurance is part of the federal stimulus package and includes a 65 percent subsidy on the cost of COBRA premiums for up to nine months.

Drug Coverage and CDHPs

According to the recent North & South Carolina Health Plan Analysis, wellness and pharmaceutical benefits will be an important element of CDHPs' success.

"Many CDHPs cover only generic medications and lower-cost options, if they carry a pharmacy benefit at all," said Wade. "As a result, the pharmaceutical industry has a vested interest in consumers selecting COBRA coverage over an individual CDHP, because the group plan is more likely to have more substantial drug coverage."

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Need Health Plan Analysis

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing pharmaceutical companies to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels. Updated quarterly, Health Plan Analysis provides a detailed look at plan design and financials, as well as information about mergers, legislation and other influencers driving healthcare in a particular region.

About HealthLeaders-InterStudy

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis and news. For more information, please visit www.HL-ISY.com.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Lisa Osgood               Elizabeth Marshall   HealthLeaders-InterStudy  Decision Resources, Inc.   781-296-2606              781-296-2563   losgood@hl-isy.com        emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

Contact: Lisa Osgood of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-781-296-2606,
losgood@hl-isy.com; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-
296-2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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