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Consumer-Driven Health News

HHS May Kill Stand-Alone Indemnity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is trying to eliminate any possibility that consumers will use limited-benefit health insurance as a substitute for traditional coverage. HHS wants carriers to sell individual limited-benefit products only to consumers who have “minimum essential coverage.” HHS proposed the rule in a draft regulation that could apply to individual hospital indemnity insurance, individual critical illness insurance and other individual supplemental health insurance products.

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SHOPs Gaining Traction in All States

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is gaining traction in most states as carriers decide to participate in the program. Although the state SHOPs face challenges, it appears that this component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is falling into place. That’s the conclusion of a study by the Commonwealth Fund, which examined the status of SHOP programs in every state and the District of Columbia.

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Overwhelming Majority of Americans Concerned About Health Care Costs in Retirement

According to research from the Fidelity Investments Retirement Savings Assessment study, many Americans greatly underestimate the amount of savings they may need to cover health care costs in retirement. 84 percent of respondents wonder whether they will be able to afford health care in retirement, but 71 percent expect to have better-than-average health in retirement, an overly optimistic assumption for many, the report found.

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Only 72 Percent of Americans Saving for Retirement

People know they need to save for retirement, but a survey by Capital One ShareBuilder found that only 72 percent of Americans are actually doing it. While 93 percent think they should contribute some portion of their income toward retirement and half believe it should be more than 10 percent, only one-fifth are currently saving 10 percent or higher. On average, people are saving only 6.4 percent of their annual income for retirement, the survey found.

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HSA Strategy: Create a 'Medical IRA'

When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law four years ago, it seemed poised to deal a death blow to health savings accounts. But that has not been the case nationwide. In fact, HSAs are thriving in the new environment, according to Todd Berkley, president of HSA Consulting Services, who now sees a chance for financial planners to play a “huge role” in a key area of concern to clients.

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