Monday December 22, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility to Increase in 2015

In 2015 the IRS will once again increase the amounts long-term care insurance customers can deduct from their federal income taxes. Premiums for tax-qualified policies, which comprise the vast majority of the long-term care insurance market, are deductible as medical expenses and may be reimbursed tax-free from a health savings account.

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5 Health Savings Account Rules You Need to Know

While health savings accounts provide an easy way to lower your tax bill and save money for medical expenses, you can only reap the benefits if you follow certain HSA rules. It’s important to know these five limitations if you want to enjoy all the tax advantages of an HSA.

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3 Reasons Health Care Costs Are Still a Mystery

Investigators at the Government Accountability Office say that patients still have a hard time figuring out what their care will really cost. GAO found that providers' administrative offices rarely provide much information about how much care will really cost, and both public and private cost comparison tools tend to be lacking in detail, lacking in information about a broad range of services or hard to use.

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Health-Care Costs: It’s Time for Patients to Take Control

Health analysts agree that it’s time for the patient to start being more of a consumer. Obamacare, controls on Medicare spending, cutting back on malpractice litigation, more preventive care and even healthier lifestyles have all been touted as ways to cut costs in the health-care system. But together they’ve made little more than a dent in the ever-rising cost of health care, which has been outpacing inflation for decades.

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CDHP Enrollment, Offerings Spike

According to new analysis from Mercer, CDHP enrollment spiked from 18 percent to 23 percent of all covered employees in 2014. It was the largest one-year increase in high-deductible consumer-driven health plan enrollment. CDHPs jumped from 39 percent to 48 percent among large employers and from 63 percent to 72 percent among jumbo employers. CDHP growth may be spurred as employers look for ways to avoid paying the Cadillac tax in 2018.

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