CDHP (consumer directed health plan)

Consumer directed health plans (CDHP), originating in the late 1990s primarily from health e-commerce ventures, were designed to engage consumers more directly in their health care purchases. The primary conceptual model made cost and quality information evident to the consumer, usually through the Internet, thus creating a more efficient health care market. Since that time, the CDHP design has dropped Internet capabilities as a primary distinction and focused on the use of a health benefit that couples a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with an account to pay for first dollar medical care expenses. Typically, there is a gap between the account contribution and deductible threshold, with unused portions of the account accruing without tax penalty into the subsequent benefit year. The most common models of these plans today are Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA's).