Thursday September 18, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

HDHP vs. Conventional Health Plan: How to Determine the Best Fit

It is often suggested that those in good health should opt for a High Deductible Health Plan. This begs the question: If you’re unhealthy, should you opt for a conventional health plan? Not necessarily.

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How People Feel About Their Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

When people with employer-based coverage were asked how they liked what they had, a large majority said they were satisfied with the range of services that were covered and the quality of the care they could get. But just over half said they were satisfied when they were asked about their premiums, deductibles and financial protection against big bills.

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FSA Rollover Change Offers More Flexibility

Flexible spending accounts have always been an attractive option for those on employer-sponsored health plans. But one provision has traditionally soured the deal for some -- the “use it or lose it” rules. But that has changed. In 2013, the Treasury Department amended the FSA rules, allowing consumers to roll over $500 from one year to the next. With an estimated 35 million Americans using FSAs, the new rule could have a huge impact.

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Health Care and the $20,000 Bruise

As a doctor and a lawyer, I like to think I'm pretty good at navigating the health-care system. So when my wife and I found a large swollen bruise on our 3-year-old son's head more than a week after he had fallen off his scooter, I was confident we could get him a CT scan at a reasonable cost. Then the bill arrived: $20,000. This made me want to give consumers some very simple tips on how to fight their health-care bills.

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Surgery Prices Surge With Innovation and Consolidation Under Obamacare

The price to remove a gall bladder or replace a hip has spiked more than 20 percent during the past five years, according to an analysis of data collected for NBC News. Surgery has bloomed into a $500 billion industry in the United States, where 80 to 100 million procedures are performed annually — a per-capita rate that’s some 50 percent higher than in the European Union. For hospitals, surgery is the No. 1 revenue source.

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