The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute sums up what is known about CDHPs and examines trends in offer rates and enrollment. It also looks at differences in premiums between CDHPs and other types of insurance, and discusses the drivers of the premium differences:

The report is in the August 2010 EBRI Issue Brief, available online at

Among the key points:

  • Offer rates: Surveys show that employers offering a CDHP increased from less than 5 percent in 2005 to between 12 percent to 15 percent by 2009.

Growth in offer rates can be seen across all firm sizes. Recently, the percentage of small firms offering a CDHP has declined, while larger firms have continued to add a CDHP as an option.

  • Enrollment: Overall, 19.1 million, or 11 percent of individuals with private health insurance, were enrolled in a CDHP in 2009.
  • Premiums: Generally, premiums for CDHPs were lower than premiums for non-CDHPs. Growth in premiums varies both by type of plan and over time.
  • Explaining differences in premiums: A number of studies have tried to explain the differences in premiums between CDHPs and non-CDHPs. One found savings ranged from a high of 15.5 percent to a low of -4.7 percent, with average savings of 4.8 percent.

However, the study found that most of the savings was due to younger, healthier workers choosing CDHPs and concluded that once typical risk- and benefit-adjustment factors were taken into account, CDHPs saved only 1.5 percent.

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