Great-West Healthcare says it believes the consumer incentive features it sells along with normal-deductible group health plans are helping to hold down plan expenses.[@@]
Great-West, Greenwood Village, Colo., has introduced plans with low deductibles and medium deductibles that include extra financial incentives for consumers to take extra care when scheduling non-emergency care and seeking non-emergency care for ordinary health problems.
The plans put no unusual pressure on members to think about cost when the patients are seeking preventive care or when they are seeking emergency care, hospital care or hospice care.
Consultants at Reden & Anders Ltd., an actuarial firm affiliated with UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., found that employers that adopted the new plans cut utilization by an average of 6.2% between January 2004 and November 2004, Great-West says.