"Consumer-directed health plans are living up to their expectations as a way to help save employers money and put employees in greater control of their health care. In fact, offering these plans was the most often-cited tactic by employers to control costs. We fully expect that employer interest in CDHPs, and especially full-replacement plans, will continue to increase in the future," said Helen Darling, head of the National Business Group on Health, in a statement.
What the GAO report tells me is that payers who can swiftly market CDHPs/HRAs to younger, healthier, and wealthier populations will be in a position to build loyalty and win market share. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), however, health insurance exchanges will prohibit payers from selecting applicants on the basis of health.
Plans marketed and sold outside of HIEs presumably remain viable, but the fate of CDHPs under PPACA is an open question.