Friday July 31, 2015

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Plan Redesign Leads to Greater Cost Control

Does it make sense to take the time and effort to revise the corporate health plan rather than just stand pat year to year? A study from PwC rather emphatically endorses making plan changes. The study revealed an array of trending information among employers, including a strong movement toward offering only a high deductible plan rather than a choice of plans. Of the 83 percent that reported offering an HDHP as part of their package, 56 percent included a health savings account and 18 percent included a health reimbursement component.

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When Using a Health Savings Account, Know What Is Eligible

Health savings accounts are becoming more prevalent, but it’s not always easy for consumers to know what items they can purchase with funds from the accounts. While the tax advantages may be attractive, some rules about what products are eligible for purchase with HSA funds can be confusing. It’s important to know what is eligible and what’s not, said Todd Berkley, a consultant who runs the “AskMrHSA” website.

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Surprising Ways You Can Use Your FSA or HSA

If you’re the owner of a health savings account or a flexible spending arrangement, you might not be exactly sure what you have. That’s because these accounts, which are used to help pay for health care costs tax-free, are often misunderstood. They’ve been offered since 2004 as a supplement to a high-deductible health insurance plan to help consumers cover out-of-pocket costs. But you might not be clear on what they are, or what exactly they can do.

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4 Things to Know About HSAs

What exactly is a Health Savings Account? It's a tax-free savings account that's generally paired with a high-deductible insurance policy to provide affordable health coverage. People with HSAs put the money they save on their monthly premiums into a tax-free savings account, and use the money that builds up in the savings account to pay for the occasional doctor bill. Here are more details to consider if you're considering an HSA.

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My Employer Offers Both HSA and FSA. What's the Difference, and Which Should I Use?

I recently started a new job and am choosing my health insurance benefits. It looks like I have the option of using a health savings account or a flexible spending account to set money aside for medical costs. But I don’t know which is better, and the language in my benefits paperwork is confusing. Can you help?

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