Pressure to hold down health care costs gave health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) a big boost in 2011. The number of U.S. adults ages 21 to 64 with either an HSA or an HRA increased to 8.4 million last year, up from 5.4 million in 2010, according to Paul Fronstin, a researcher at the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, DC.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has released selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian non-institutionalized U.S. population. From January through June 2011, 29.1% of persons under age 65 with private health insurance were enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP), including 8.9% who were enrolled in a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP).
Aetna HealthFund Consumer-Directed Plans Continue to Reduce Health Care Costs for Employers
Employers that replaced their traditional health benefits plans with Aetna HealthFund consumer-directed plans saved $21.8 million over a five-year period for every 10,000 members, based on a recent study of Aetna health care claims and utilization. While members with Aetna HealthFund plans spent seven percent less on overall health care costs, the study also showed that these members received more preventive care from their primary care physicians and preventive screenings than members with traditional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans.
IRS Clarifies Guidelines for W-2 Reporting of Health Coverage Costs
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service revised its interim guidance on reporting health benefits on W-2 forms by issuing Notice 2012-9, which clarifies several of the original Q&As and adds some Q&As. Read this article to see what was clarified and added.
Six Points to Note About the Updated IRS Healthcare Reporting Requirements
After two previous notices offering temporary relief from reporting the cost of coverage provided through an employer-sponsored group health plan, the most recent IRS guidance presents additional information to help employees and employers understand the value of their health care benefits. Here are six points to note about the updated reporting requirements.
Boomers Not Confident They Can Pay Medical Expenses in Retirement
According to a report by the Insured Retirement Institute, 63 percent of Baby Boomers do not believe they will be able to cover health care costs in retirement. The concern is especially strong among younger Baby Boomers between the ages of 52 and 54, with 72 percent saying they lack confidence.
You’ve probably heard of IRAs, and maybe FSAs, but what about HSAs? If your employer offers high-deductible health insurance policies, or if you’ve tried shopping around for low-cost health insurance, you may have run across this acronym. As their popularity has grown, so have the questions about them. In fact, I recently received a question about what they are and how to qualify for one.
With more employers shifting workers to high-deductible health plans, it's time to get familiar with a rare triple-threat tax advantage that can accompany the plans. Increasingly, consumers are viewing the plans as longer-term savings vehicles for retirement.
Lurking under the recent improvement in jobs numbers is another challenge for workers: how to cope when the work doesn't come with company benefits. There are options for people who want such benefits—and there are tax incentives that can help reduce the sting of paying for everything yourself. An HSA is one of the options that can help.
Your Guide to Health Care: Navigating Your Way to Better Health
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a guide for the stuff in life we don’t fully understand – such as health insurance and health care? Care Advocates is one of a handful of organizations that recognized a need in the health insurance world and set out to deliver a solution. The company says the services they provide are “surprisingly affordable,” but more importantly, are an integral piece of the CDH puzzle—a piece some didn’t even realize was missing.
Millions Find Walgreens No Longer In Their Rx Networks
If you’re heading into a Walgreens to pick up a prescription, you may first want to check the back of your insurance card. If it says Express Scripts, you can no longer fill your prescription at Walgreens or affiliates like Duane Reade under your insurance plan.
Rick Santorum Would Be the Best President Health Insurers' Money Could Buy
This article by former insurance executive turned industry basher, Wendell Potter, is less about Rick Santorum's presidential changes and more about bashing HSAs. Everyone should be aware of his caustic attacks on consumer-driven health care.
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Mission:Healthcare Choice Coalition believes in protecting the freedom of citizens to choose their own health care, strengthening their relationship with their personal physician, and preserving the free market so that consumer-driven health care can flourish and remain viable under any regulatory regime.