Sunday April 19, 2015

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The Healthcare Choice Coalition is bringing together business owners, agents/brokers, and others who believe in protecting the freedom of citizens to choose and direct their own health care.

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Consumer-Driven Health News

5 Unique Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely

If you are expecting a tax refund this year, you need a plan for this money. Experts agree that the smartest thing to do with a little extra money is to use it in a way that benefits your budget, generates extra income, or helps you achieve financial peace of mind. This can be accomplished in several ways. For example, if you participate in a health insurance plan with a high deductible, you may be eligible to open and contribute to an HSA.

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The Future of Health Is More, Better, Cheaper

Within a decade, the health business will look and feel much more like other consumer-oriented, industries. It will have its own Amazon-style, iconic brands—companies that give consumers an easy way to access information, doctors, and treatments; provide them with a variety of services and products at a variety of prices; and centralize their care through user-friendly interfaces. Plenty of entrants into the market would like nothing better than to upend the old model of care, empowering consumers while taking some of the industry’s annual $2.9 trillion market for themselves.

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The Real Reason Companies Offer Wellness Programs

Companies tend to rank the health of their employees ahead of controlling premium costs when asked why they offer wellness programs as part of their benefits packages, according to a new survey. Of the organizations in the sample group, 96 percent reported supporting well-being programs for employees, and three-quarters said they intend to enrich those programs over the next two years.

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Wellness Programs Urged to Focus on Employees' Overall Well-Being

Employers can more deeply influence their employees' health management habits by expanding their workplace wellness programs to account for a more comprehensive view of their workers' overall well-being. According to data from Healthways Inc., employees that achieve a 10 percent improvement in their overall well-being report on average 5 percent fewer unscheduled absences and a 24 percent reduction in presenteeism, as well as a 2.2 percent reduction in the likelihood of a hospital admission and a 1.7 percent drop in the likelihood of an emergency room visit.

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Hidden Retirement Savings Opportunity: Health Savings Accounts

If you’ve maxed out your contributions to your other retirement accounts, a health savings account could be another way to squeeze in some extra tax-advantaged savings. Those who want to go above and beyond the caps on retirement savings, who expect to pay lot for health care in retirement, or who aren’t eligible to contribute to traditional or Roth IRAs because of income limits, could accumulate a significant amount of money that could be used for health care or other retirement expenses with an HSA.

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