Tuesday June 2, 2015

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Consumer-Driven Health News



"Cadillac Tax" Is Expected to Drive Up Healthcare Costs, Survey Finds

According to a new independent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, employers expect Affordable Care Act costs to increase even more next year and beyond. The study points to the so-called Cadillac tax as the “driving force” behind the increase.

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Flexible Spending Accounts Are Underutilized by Employees

Despite the fact that flexible spending accounts have been around for four decades, many employees are still not funding them, fearful of forfeiting any unused amount. Not only do many employees miss out on the opportunity to pay for their healthcare on a tax-free basis, others fail to get reimbursed. A 2014 survey conducted by Aflac found that 22 percent of employees are not very or not at all knowledgeable about FSAs.

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3 Things to Know About PPACA World Deductibles

Many of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act major medical plans are more generous than they look. They may have deductibles of up to $6,600 for an individual and $13,200 for a family, but many of them cover in-network office visits without requiring patients to meet the deductible. Analysts at Breakaway Policy Strategies looked at how PPACA plan deductibles actually work in a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Is High-Deductible Insurance Changing Healthcare Shopping Habits?

The proliferation of high-deductible coverage is a small part of a bigger move toward "consumer driven health care." Consumers are going to walk in to doctors offices and clinics and say: What's the price? And if you can't tell them, they'll go somewhere else. At the same time, the system is fessing up--becoming clearer--about what things actually cost because consumers have become more careful spenders--and more demanding about what they are getting in return.

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Americans with Obamacare Are Still Afraid of Big Medical Bills

Even though Americans are generally happy with Obamacare plans, a large minority—38 percent of marketplace enrollees—say they still “feel vulnerable to high medical bills.” Americans enrolled in plans that meet ACA requirements are more likely to struggle with medical bills than Americans enrolled in plans that do not meet ACA requirements. Americans in ACA-compliant plans are also more likely to report skipping care because of cost.

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