Saturday November 28, 2015

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Consumer-Driven Health News

High-Deductible Plans Are Expected to Keep Eating Away at Dominance of PPOs

Anecdotal evidence and hard data show HDHPs are gaining market penetration, amounting to nearly 25 percent of plans selected by consumers in 2015 in the employer-sponsored setting, and for 2016 that trend is projected to continue unabated.

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Maximum FSA Contribution to Remain at $2,550 for 2016

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts in 2016, will, as expected, remain unchanged from this year's $2,550 limit, the Internal Revenue Service disclosed October 21.

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A Study of Healthcare Spending Included Price Transparency--or Did It?

An extensive study by Berkeley and Harvard economists released last week examined a large company that moved its employees from a health plan with no deductible to one with a $3,750 deductible. "Whether or not price shopping actually occurs is an empirical question that depends upon a range of factors, including consumers' provider preferences, information about prices, and search effort," according to the study. It turns out, apparently, not much of an effort was put into using those pricing tools--or into answering that empirical question.

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On-Site Health Services Can Reduce Employee Absence, Comp Costs

Offering on-site health services is not likely to have a material impact on employers' medical expenses, but it can be useful in reducing employee absences and workers compensation costs, according to a report by the National Business Group on Health and Truven Health Analytics.

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Employer Finds Small Steps Can Create Wellness Program Success

After giving employers pedometers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee found it doesn’t take great strides to cut costs and improve employees’ health.

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