Thursday July 24, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Would Reference Pricing Hold Down Health Costs?

Some health care experts believe reference pricing is a potential solution to the out-of-control health care spending in the United States. Michael Abrams, a managing partner at Numerof & Associates in St. Louis and co-author of the 2013 book Healthcare at a Turning Point: A Roadmap for Change, believes reference pricing can provide more transparency for patients, which is ultimately a positive shift in the industry, but he says there are limits to its applications.

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'Perfect Storm' for Medical Price Transparency

We should all be angry with legislators who allow insurance and hospital lobbyists to control the legislative discussions. These lobbyists represent groups with incentives that are misaligned with ordinary people. They control the pricing through obscurity by convincing patients, employers and legislators that "medical billing is too complicated for you to understand" and other specious arguments.

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Save Money on Health Care with Home Tests

If you're on a health care plan with a high deductible, saving money on health care is important. One way to reduce costs is to ask if you can do routine tests at home. However, your doctor may not immediately consider these at-home alternatives. Let them know you have a high-deductible plan so they'll know you'd like to save money if possible.

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HSA Enrollment Posts Double-Digit Growth

Nearly 17.4 million Americans are covered by HSA-eligible insurance plans, an increase of nearly 12 percent since 2013, according to a new census from America's Health Insurance Plans. Most enrollment gains in the HSA/HDHP space in 2014 were in the large group market, jumping to 74 percent in January 2014.

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Majority of Account Holders Spend Down Health Savings Accounts: Survey

A joint survey by America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Bankers Association found that in 2012, 52 percent of account holders spent more than 80 percent of their HSA balances on health care expenses, while just 26 percent of account holders spent less than 20 percent of accumulated funds on health care expenses. Twenty-one percent of account holders spent between 20 percent and 80 percent of balances for health care expenses.

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