Friday August 1, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News

Do Enrollees in Consumer-Driven Health Plans Understand Them?

Consumer-driven health plans are designed to help individuals be better health care consumers, but do they understand those plans? The answer appears to be “yes,” according to the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, which found that 77 percent of those with a CDHP were extremely, very, or somewhat familiar with it.

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Why HSAs Should Be On Your Company's Health Care Playlist

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012, employers have been worried about the impending “Cadillac Tax” and how to address it. In response, many employers are adding HSA-eligible health plans to their plan design to help control health care costs and avoid potential exposure to the tax in 2018. But there are additional benefits both to the employer and employee than meets the eye.

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Health Care Reform, Health Savings Accounts and You

With overall spending related to health care now 18 percent of gross domestic product (up from 13 percent in 1994), both greater choice and responsibility are being placed in the hands of consumers, hopefully motivating them to make good decisions regarding their health care and its cost, and possibly saving them some money if they fund and use HSAs or other tax-favored health plans.

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Proposal to Add Skimpier ‘Copper’ Plans to Marketplace Raises Concerns

Insurers and some U.S. senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper" plans on the health insurance marketplaces to encourage uninsured stragglers to buy. But consumer advocates and some policy experts say that focusing on reducing costs on the front end exposes consumers to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they get sick. The trade-off, they say, may not be worth it.

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How Much Will That MRI Cost? Patients Often in the Dark

Because her family’s health insurance plan has a $10,000 deductible, Sue Haynie tries to watch what they spend on medical care and figure out what it will cost ahead of time. But that’s easier said than done, she’s found. Haynie’s experience represents a challenge facing an increasing number of patients: Their insurance plans require them to pay a larger share of their medical bills. But finding out what their care will cost remains difficult, if not impossible.

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