Will employee choice and defined contribution health plans salvage the embattled managed care system?Benefits Q. 2003; 19(3):32-50.BQ
Defined contribution or consumer-driven health approaches will shift to employees not just the risks and rewards of the managed care system, but also decisions that will determine whether that system can survive. This article reviews the current state of the employer-sponsored health care system, describes defined contribution and consumer-driven health plan concepts, and outlines the approaches and steps employers can take to implement them. The author argues that, if fully implemented, such approaches could salvage the embattled managed care system by giving employees a financial stake in controlling medical costs while educating them to wisely take control of health plan spending decisions.