Thursday June 30, 2016

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Average Family Healthcare Costs Have Tripled Since 2001

The costs of providing health care to an average American family surpassed $25,000 for the first time in 2016 — even as the rate of health cost increases slowed to a record low, a new analysis revealed May 24. The $25,826 in health-care costs for a typical family of four covered by a employer-sponsored "preferred provider plan" is $1,155 higher than last year, and triple what it cost to provide health care for the same family in 2001, the first year that Milliman Medical Index analysis was done.

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New Cures for Health Costs

There’s always a cutting edge in health-care cost management, and over time the companies that are most progressive in that arena tend to have a 2.5 percentage point advantage over the field. That is, if the trend in health cost increases is 4.5 percent, the progressive employers will be around 2 percent — and will remain immune to the Cadillac tax for much longer. To some, the cutting edge is about addressing employees’ health needs from a holistic standpoint.

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3 Reasons Retirement and Health Benefit Discussions Aren’t Combined — and Why Advisers Should Reverse Course

It has been well documented and widely published that couples will need in excess of $250,000 to be properly prepared for medical expenses in retirement. Why, then, do the majority of employers continue to separate discussions about retirement planning from their education and enrollment in health benefits? We posed this question to dozens of our broker/consultant partners and received three categories of rationale. They also told us they recognize that they should stop this practice.

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Employees Are Sleeping on HSA Benefits

HSAs can be especially powerful tools for employee financial wellness, as the funds in these accounts roll over and accumulate interest. However, based on our recent behavioral research on benefits at midsize employers, HSAs are significantly underfunded. Between individual and family accounts, we found that employees contributed on average less than half of the maximum amount allowed to HSAs for 2016.

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Are Health Savings Accounts Healthy for Your Budget?

Are health savings accounts healthy for your budget? An HSA is a chip to play in the health care expense game. Studying the rules will enable you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.

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