Reform worries dominated the Benefits Selling Expo this year. Presenters spoke to packed rooms in sessions about what to expect and how to prepare for changes in the industry. But there may yet be a solution. As Greg Scandlen proposed in his keynote speech Tuesday, consumer-driven health care could be the answer to the questions Washington asks.

First Horizon Msaver's Craig Keohan and Eric Johnson educated a rapt audience Tuesday afternoon on the value consumer-directed health care can provide. Reform, or "Washington-directed health care" as they call it, doesn't address rising costs or personal responsibility, they said. Monthly premiums are generally lower than traditional premiums, and medical costs are 14 percent lower in the first year of using a consumer-directed health plan. The savings increase with each year.

Consumer-directed health care increases consumer engagement in their health care choices. The longer you can keep employees' money involved, the longer they stay engaged, Johnson said. He called HSAs the "lifeboat" of reform, and suggested a long-term strategy for the plans should include some co-insurance to prevent workers from using their health plans indiscriminately once they meet their deductible.

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