Friday May 6, 2016

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Employers Predict Big Changes to Health Plans in Near Future

Nearly four in five employers predict moderate to significant changes in their health plan designs and vendor strategies over the next four years, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2016 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey. Once these changes are put into place, employers anticipate cost increases in 2016 to be around 4 percent (for the second consecutive year), the smallest increase in 15 years but still more than twice the Consumer Price Index.

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The Tax Day Health Savings Account Trick

A health savings account is a powerful tax tool. If you have a high deductible health insurance plan, you can contribute to an HSA every year–up until the month you start Medicare. And a really handy feature lets you make contributions for the prior tax year up until tax day. That lets taxpayers tweak their 2015 income (and taxes) through today. When you see how it can help you, it should get you motivated to start planning early for 2016.

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5-Point Checklist for Making the Most of Your Tax Refund

If you're one of the millions expecting a nice refund this year, you might be wondering the best ways to put that money to work. Here's how I would put my tax refund to work, in order of first priority to last. If you have a high-deductible health plan, a Health Savings Account could be the best use of your tax refund.

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A Look at the Changing Options in Health Savings

Employee health benefits are constantly on the minds of employers who are striving to offer well-rounded, competitive benefit packages in order to attract and retain key talent. With significant increases predicted to affect the already high cost of benefits, along with concern over the potential Cadillac tax, employers have started looking for different options. These factors have caused companies to implement or seriously consider implementing an HSA-qualified plan.

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Rolling Over Retirement Savings to a Health Savings Account

I thought you could make a tax-free rollover from retirement savings into a health savings account, but my 401(k) administrator says that I can’t roll over my 401(k) into an HSA. You can make a tax-free rollover into an HSA from an IRA, but not from a 401(k), 457 or other retirement plan. However, if you have a 401(k) from a former employer, you may be able to make the move in two steps: Roll it over into an IRA first, then make a tax-free direct transfer from the IRA into your HSA.

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