Consumer-directed health plans usually combine high-deductible plans with health savings accounts or health reimbursement arrangements. Participants think a little more when they go to the doctor and are encouraged to shop around for a better price so as to hold on to or invest the money in the HSA account.
The HSA options also make health costs transparent, as plan participants will talk to their doctors about the prices of procedures and treatments, said Eric Remjeske, president of Devenir Group LLC, a Minneapolis firm that provides HSA investment options.
Mr. Remjeske and his wife shopped around when searching for a hospital before their youngest son’s birth. “I got a few quotes on the cost of child delivery, and we went somewhere cheaper,” he said. “The key isn’t just education [on HSAs] but also the transparency.