Wednesday August 24, 2016

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Consumer-Driven Health News

How to Save in Both an HSA and an FSA

I signed up for a high-deductible insurance policy at my new job, but my employer offers a flexible spending account rather than a health savings account. I had an HSA with my previous employer. Can I keep my HSA if I want to contribute on my own and also contribute to the FSA? You generally can’t contribute to both an HSA and an FSA at the same time, but there is one exception. Some employers offer HSA-eligible, limited-purpose FSAs that only cover certain expenses, such as dental and vision costs.

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Want to Fund Your HSA with Your IRA? Here's How

Did you know that you can use your IRA to fund your HSA? You may be able to take advantage of a little known part of the tax code that allows a transaction called a Qualified HSA Funding Distribution. A QHFD is done by direct transfer from your IRA to your HSA. This transaction is not taxable or subject to the 10 percent early distribution penalty.

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CDHP Challenge: How to Win Over Those Clinging to PPO

One of the key tenets we pursue in helping clients develop a CDHP strategy is to focus stakeholder attention on what would change, and what would not. In the case of moving from a traditional PPO to a CDHP, the change could be focused entirely on just a couple elements. In fact, one preferred approach is to install CDHPs that are approximately equal in actuarial value to a competing traditional plan, but which offers employees lower premium contributions.

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Telemedicine Arrangements: Beware of Inadvertently Dialing Up an Excise Tax

In an effort to save money and provide employees with more convenient health care delivery options, a growing number of employers are adding telemedicine arrangements to their overall benefits package. But there is a broad array of legal pitfalls dotting the landscape of these arrangements. Depending on how the program is offered, participants enrolled in both the telemedicine arrangement and an HDHP may be precluded from making (or receiving) contributions to their HSA.

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High-Deductible Insurance

Since being introduced in 2001, “consumer-driven health plans” have grown to 15 percent of the market. The plans were intended to save money and make employees wiser consumers of health care. Researchers say they have saved money, but the resources to let employees make informed choices have been lacking. The result has been employees cutting back on preventive screenings and prescriptions for chronic conditions. The tools are just catching up,” says Paul Fronstin at the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

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