Tuesday September 1, 2015

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Consumer-Driven Health News



HSAs Bend Cost Curve Down

Federal and state officials are failing to make insurance more affordable by regulating its price directly. It’s time for a different approach. To drive health costs down over the long term, our leaders must expand the availability of HSAs.

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Time to Take Another Look at High-Deductible Health Plans?

Enrollment in high-deductible health plans could gain traction soon, as employers begin to focus on a very attractive feature: These plans have a demonstrated ability to control costs. Also, there is a growing urgency among employers to avoid exposure to the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac tax,” which is scheduled to take effect in 2018. These factors may cause some employers to rev up promotion of HDHPs as a viable option for their employees. Here’s a look at where things stand.

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Health Care Costs Remain Major Retirement Expense

A 65-year-old couple retiring today should expect to spend as much as $220,000 on health care over the course of 20 years, according to a new report from National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc. On top of that, health care spending is projected to grow 5.8 percent each year through 2022.

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You Can Now Look Up ER Wait Times, Hospital Noise Levels and Nursing Home Fines on Yelp

Yelp is adding a ton of health-care data to its review pages for medical businesses to give consumers more access to government information on hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics. Consumers can now look up a hospital emergency room's average wait time, fines paid by a nursing home, or how often patients getting dialysis treatment are readmitted to a hospital because of treatment-related infections or other problems.

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Consumer-Driven Health Plans Confuse Their Consumers

Though enrollment in consumer-driven health plans continues to rise, most employees don't understand the health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, or flexible spending accounts linked to the plans, says a new report by Acclaris. According to the survey, 63.1 percent of respondents said lack of education was the biggest hurdle to adoption of consumer-driven health accounts, while 19.5 percent said awareness is the greatest challenge.

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