• Case Study
  • July 5, 2016

Transitioning Employees to a High-deductible Health Plan

A large southeastern hospital system delivers care to nearly half a million patients annually. The system consists of more than 11,000 team members and physicians across five acute care hospitals, an expansive practice network and dozens of affiliated clinics and specialty care practices. 


In 2012, the organization faced three complex benefit challenges with far-reaching implications:

  1. Lower health care costs for employees without sacrificing quality coverage
  2. Secure employee buy-in related to coverage changes
  3. Empower employees to manage their increased financial responsibility for their health care expenses 


Leaders at the organization and their benefit program consultant, Trion, determined that encouraging employee use of the high-deductible health plan (HDHP) would help lower expenses without sacrificing program quality. Recognizing employees might be concerned about the higher deductible, the organization added a customizable voluntary benefit for managing out-of-pocket expenses. 

Over the last four enrollment periods, the system has seen the HDHP participation increase to nearly 48 percent thanks to the following strategies:

  • Top-down support: Leaders encouraged active discussion among employees. They also coordinated voluntary benefit and  core medical program enrollment to reinforce the strong connection between the two. 
  • The right voluntary benefits mix: Group Accident, Group Critical Illness and Group Hospital Indemnity products were selected because they were customizable and naturally complement HDHPs. 
  • Employee education: Employees received consistent education on how HDHPs work and the benefits. Certified HDHP representatives facilitated group and individual discussions to support employee decision-making and provided custom communications. They focused on the strong relationship between HDHPs and voluntary benefits. 


  • HDHP participation increased nearly 48 percent in four enrollment periods. 
  • Employees have purchased more than 11,000 group certificates for additional financial protection during the same time frame
  • A 3-year combined medical/prescription plan savings of more than $3 million was achieved. 
  • To date, more than $2 million in claims have been paid to certificate holders who selected out-of-pocket expense coverage.

Learn about CHA's Insurance Services, and how CHA and its partner Trion can help identify solutions to your benefit program challenges. Contact David Spizman.  

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