Online Tools for Consumer-Directed Health Plans
On Jan. 25, 2005, Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a demonstration of the online tools made available to enrollees in consumer-directed health plans. Executives from Humana and Lumenos — two major firms in the consumer-directed care market — conducted real-time demonstrations of their consumer web tools to show how enrollees might manage the costs and quality of their care. Consumer-directed, or consumer-driven, health plans are intended to give enrollees a financial stake in their health care and to encourage them to make informed choices about their care and treatment. These health plans typically make comparative information available to their enrollees in an effort to help them manage their health care costs and choose effective treatments. Though such plans cover a relatively small share of Americans with private insurance today, they are becoming more common due to recent changes in federal law.