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Since inception, the consumer-driven health care (CDH) movement has steadily gained momentum, as evidenced by the rate at which employers offer CDH plans and the volume of assets that are invested in tax-advantaged accounts like health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). But although all indicators trend up, growth has not kept pace with rapidly shifting market forces that threaten the future of CDH.

According to Mercer, while more than 60 percent of employers currently offer consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), only one-third of employees are enrolled in them. Meanwhile, the National Business Group on Health’s 2018 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey predicts that by 2020, 97 percent of large employers will offer CDHPs, with an increasing number offering those plans as the only option for employees. Clearly, consumer adoption of these plans and the need to manage future health care spending and saving must occur at a more rapid pace.

Consumer-driven health care is underpenetrated in the market due to a combination of dismal consumer engagement, low enrollment, and poor broker and employer focus. But we can fix these threats if employers and brokers work together to deliver winning consumer-driven health care strategies.

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