US-based UnitedHealthcare has announced that it will offer a new consumer driven health plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for 2009.

The open enrollment period for federal employees will run from November 10, 2008 through December 8, 2008.

The new consumer driven health plan (CDHP) benefit, which includes a Health Reimbursement Account, offers several features for federal employees, including lower premiums, access to UnitedHealthcare’s national physician and hospital network without the need for physician referrals, and full coverage of most in-network preventive care.

The new CDHP and the existing tax-advantaged Health Savings Account-eligible plan will be offered by UnitedHealthcare in 25 states and the District of Columbia in 2009.

Craig Condon, senior vice president for federal programs at UnitedHealthcare, said: The addition of the new CDHP benefit is an affordable option that provides access to quality care. The new consumer driven plan will enable federal employees to take greater control of the decisions that affect their care through the resources and personal tools UnitedHealthcare offers to help consumers make informed medical choices.