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-- Plans also encourage members to take a more active role in their health care --
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Employers that replaced their traditional health benefits plans with Aetna HealthFund® consumer-directed plans saved $21.8 million over a five-year period for every 10,000 members, based on a recent study of Aetna (NYSE: AET) health care claims and utilization. While members with Aetna HealthFund plans spent seven percent less on overall health care costs, the study also showed that these members received more preventive care from their primary care physicians and preventive screenings than members with traditional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans.
The results from the 8th annual Aetna HealthFund study – the longest running review of consumer-directed plans in the industry – were based on information from approximately 2.3 million Aetna members. The study compared members with PPO plans to those with Aetna HealthFund plans, which consist of plans paired with Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA). In addition to receiving more preventive care, Aetna members with consumer-directed plans were also more engaged health care consumers, using online tools more than twice as often as members with PPOs.
“While health care reform is helping to increase access to health care for millions, many parties within the health care system are still working diligently to address a significant issue – affordability,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president. “Aetna HealthFund plans are one solution that has a proven track record of controlling health care costs, while also encouraging consumers to become more engaged in their own health care.”
Employers that completely transitioned to Aetna HealthFund plans saw the most dramatic cost savings, while employers who simply offered Aetna HealthFund plans as an option still saw significant reductions in their health care costs. The employers that offered either the Aetna HealthFund HSA or HRA plan experienced savings of $8 million over five years for every 10,000 members enrolled in all health plan options, even though the other plan options offered had a similar overall plan value.
Aetna HealthFund Members Receiving Recommended Care at Right Time
Although employers who offered Aetna HealthFund plans saw savings in their overall health care costs, the employees with Aetna HealthFund plans continued to access recommended care at a higher rate than members enrolled in other plan options. The study found that:
In addition to the quantitative results of the study, Aetna also reviewed the practices of plan sponsors who were included in the study to determine the best approaches for maximizing the value of Aetna HealthFund plans. Some of the common themes consistent with employers who saw the most significant cost savings were:
The study looked at nearly 2.3 million members, who consisted of approximately 645,000 Aetna HealthFund members and approximately 1.65 million members whose employer offered an Aetna HealthFund product but who chose another product. The study period draws experience from nearly a decade of claims data.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.