A consumer-directed health plan is a personal health care account that a consumer uses to pay for health care expenses. The three types of consumer-directed health plans are health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts, according to Pacific Source Health Plans.
Some consumers combine consumer-directed health plans with their individual medical insurance coverage, while other consumers receive a consumer-directed health plan as part of their benefit packages from their employers, continues Pacific Source Health Plans. Some high-deductible health insurance plans include consumer-directed health plan options as part of their benefits.
Consumers set up health savings accounts at banks, and deposit their own money into the accounts to cover future health care costs. These contributions are tax deductible, and the money in the account earns interest. Employers set up health reimbursement arrangements to reimburse employees for health care costs. Some health reimbursement arrangements include debit cards, and other consumers must submit claims to their employers for reimbursement by check. Consumers with flexible spending accounts set aside money from their paychecks before taxes to pay for expenses related to health care. Each consumer decides how much money to contribute to his flexible spending account, explains Pacific Source Health Plans.