Saturday December 20, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Employee Wellness Programs Continue to Focus on Obesity Despite Lawsuits

Rising obesity-related health care costs are leading some employers to take a firmer approach to workplace wellness programs despite the potential to violate anti-discrimination laws. Complaints alone prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pull its 5-year-old workplace obesity prevention and control campaign offline in early November. Several groups complained it could result in workplace discrimination.

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HDHPs Gaining in Popularity

More than 4 in 10 Americans say they prefer high-deductible health plans so they can pay lower monthly premiums, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Millennials and Americans with household incomes of $30,000-$49,999 are the most likely to prefer a high premium/low-deductible plan, while higher income Americans ($50,000 and up) and those ages 30-64 years-old are more likely to prefer a low premium/high-deductible plan, Bankrate found.

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Is Obamacare Slowing Health Care Spending?

In general, there has been no trend in annual changes in health care spending during the Obama presidency. However, health care spending increases in recent years are definitely lower than they have been in the past. What does track the slowdown, however, are three other developments: the growth of HSAs, the growth of HRAs, and the general trend toward higher deductibles.

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Open Enrollment: How to Make the Most of Your HSA

More companies are increasingly offering high-deductible health plans to their employees in an effort to cut back on their own overhead. At first glance, most people tend to want to shy away from HDHPs because they’re dissuaded by the high out-of-pocket costs they have to reach before their insurance kicks in. But what many workers may not realize is that HDHPs are often accompanied by a Health Savings Account.

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How to Help Clients Navigate the Choppy HSA Waters

Pre-retirees increasingly rank health care as a top concern — specifically, health care costs during retirement. Your clients are currently choosing their health coverage plan for 2015. Part of a comprehensive approach to dealing with health care costs should focus on Health Savings Accounts. One of the most effective ways to prepare for health care costs in retirement is to fund an HSA.

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