Health Savings Accounts Surpass $12.4 Billion Accounts in 2011
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) surpassed $12.4 billion in assets in almost 6.8 million accounts by year-end 2011 according to a survey and resulting research report conducted by Devenir. The survey data was collected in January, 2012 and primarily consisted of the top 50 HSA providers in the health savings account market.
As employers continue to look for ways to cut health care costs and improve consumerism among the work force, consumer-directed health plans, and health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts, are expected to remain strong in 2012. HSAs, in particular, could see growth throughout the year as they are starting to attract more attention, not only because of their tax benefits but also in light of the provision that allows a participant to roll over unused funds year to year.
The health savings account (HSA) community is trying to persuade the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make the final minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations friendlier to HSA-compatible health insurance plans. If CMS does not find a way to accommodate HSA-compatible insurance plans and other "bronze" level, low-MLR plans, "the likely result is a future market dominated by more expensive plans," says J. Kevin McKechnie, executive director of the HSA Council, an arm of the American Bankers Association.
Legal Considerations When Implementing On-site Clinics
On-site clinics utilized in conjunction with a group health plan are becoming an increasingly common method to help employers address the rising cost of health care. However, there are important compliance concerns that arise when an on-site clinic is implemented. A key issue that many employers must anticipate and address is coordination with individual health savings account eligibility.
Indian Health Service Eligibility Not HSA Deal Breaker
Eligibility for medical services at an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility does not disqualify an individual from being able to establish a health savings account (HSA) -- but actually receiving such services can, according to new IRS Notice 2012-14 which will be published on February 21, 2012 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2012-8.
To Shop Smart, Patients Need to Know Price of Care
The prices of many health-care services in the U.S. are extremely difficult for patients to obtain in advance. When prices are revealed, typically after the fact, they often vary widely -- depending on both the provider and the patient’s insurance plan. Several efforts are therefore under way to provide more transparency about health-care prices, with the goal of helping people become smarter shoppers.
Dream Of A Medical ‘Price List’ Dies In Florida Legislature
While a Florida state House committee approved legislation that would expand the state’s requirement that certain providers post the out-of-pocket prices of common health care services, a state Senate committee shot down a similar measure after an aggressive lobbying push by health care provider groups.
Too Many Tests? Routine Checks Getting Second Look
Recent headlines offered a fresh example of how the health care system subjects people to too many medical tests — this time research showing millions of older women don't need their bones checked for osteoporosis nearly so often. Now some of the nuts-and-bolts tests given during checkups or hospital visits are getting a second look, too. It begs the question: Just what should be part of my doctor's visit?
It’s possible to lower out-of-pocket health care costs by understanding what your health plan covers, what it does not cover and how to make the most of every dollar spent on health care and health insurance. Here are some great suggestions for optimizing a health care budget this year.
Take a second look at Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). They may be a tax-smart way for you to handle your medical expenses. Although HSAs were initially slow to catch on, interest has been heating up. Recent tax law changes have generally improved HSAs.
As health costs rise, employers are increasingly turning to high-deductible health plans. The goal is to give consumers more incentives to not spend on the care they don’t need, but these plans often raise concerns that subscribers will cut back on the care that they do need, too. A new study from a team of Harvard researchers explores how health insurance plans with high deductible effect the care that families do, and don’t, seek.
By 2025, patient-doctor relationships and health care delivery will look radically different than they do today, according to the Institute for Alternative Futures. Under scenario #4, four of 10 patients will opt for consumer directed health plans. For the most part, savvy consumers will use advanced technologies, including noninvasive biomonitors and wellness and disease management apps, to stay healthy.
Here’s a bold prediction for the new year. By 2020, the American health insurance industry will be extinct. Insurance companies will be replaced by accountable care organizations — groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together to provide the full range of medical care for patients.
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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.