Monday December 5, 2016

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Consumer-Driven Health News

11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover

If you have an HSA and you have only used it to pay doctor's bills, why spend taxed money on IRS approved medical expenses when you can utilize pretax dollars? Check out these 11 items you can purchase with your HSA.

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How Is an HSA Different from a Regular Savings Account?

In the post-election discussion about the future of U.S. health insurance, the role of HSAs has garnered increased attention. However, it's important to note that the law surrounding HSAs make them vastly different from standard savings accounts. Despite their similar names, HSAs come with a host of unique rules that determine when you can access your money and how taxes get involved when you do. In this way, HSAs have more in common with health and retirement funds than with other savings accounts.

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How to Design a Better Consumer-Driven Health Plan

To be effective, consumer-driven health plans must be designed so the employee can "win," which happens when the employer contributes to the HSA or HRA. Properly-designed CDHP plans will save money as behaviors shift. By the fifth year after adoption, a CDHP plan is expected to save an employer 25 percent compared to the cost of a traditional plan.

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Liberating Americans Trapped Under High Deductibles

Insurers are in an excellent position to use rising deductibles as a tool to motivate members to purchase health promoting goods and services. Health insurers could effectively lower members’ deductibles by deducting the total (or a percentage of the total) purchase of pre-approved products or services from the member’s deductible. These types of products would include Fitbits, health club memberships, and meal plan purchases for those with dietary restrictions from companies like Blue Apron, Plated, or Jenny Craig.

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How to Survive a High-Deductible Health Plan

If you have a high-deductible plan or think you will soon, you’ll have to be more involved in decisions about your healthcare. But there’s a lot you can do to make the plan work better for you. Consumer Reports consulted health-policy and insurance experts, talked with doctors, and conducted our own research to uncover the most cost-effective ways to use your high-deductible plan while getting the medical services you need.

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