Cigna Study Shows CDHPs Can Save $9,700 Per Employee Over 5 Years
When American workers engage in health-smart habits offered in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), they reduced their health risks and lower their total medical costs an average of $9,700 per employee over a five-year period, according to the Sixth Annual Cigna Choice Fund Experience Study. The study shows individuals enrolled in Cigna's consumer-driven health plans lowered their costs without compromising care by becoming more engaged, informed and active health care consumers.
Bank of America’s health savings account business rose 34 percent with the addition of 50,000 new accounts last year, the firm announced Monday. The growth is attributed to increases in account use among employees of existing corporate clients as well as new relationships with individuals and employers. The firm’s health savings accounts have more than $300 million in account balances among almost 200,000 total accounts.
J.P. Morgan Releases Third Annual HSA Program Snapshot Report
J.P. Morgan has announced the results of its third annual health savings account (HSA) Program Snapshot report. "For the third consecutive year we have seen a significant increase in the adoption of HSAs and, more importantly, they continue to be used as an effective consumer tool for managing healthcare expenses," said Elena Szymanski, Executive Director, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services.
Milliman Study Confirms Impact of MLR Rules on HSAs
A new report by Milliman Inc. says that high-deductible health plans, including those with health savings accounts (HSAs), will likely be more adversely impacted by the medical loss ratio requirements under the health reform law than other types of comprehensive medical plans. This report suggests it will be much more challenging for HSAs to be the low-cost bronze plans for consumers under the state insurance exchanges.
There is No Free Lunch and There is No Free Contraception
The Obama Administration solution to the contraception firestorm might work politically but it makes no sense in the real world. Today, contraception is almost universally covered in health insurance policies. The argument that forcing insurers to pay for it, without deductibles and copays, saves money because it avoids pregnancy costs is just plain silly. If insurers saved money handing out contraception for free in the first place, they would have started to hand it out for free years ago.
Although more midsize employers are encouraging their employees to become more conscientious health care consumers, very little information about the price of medical services was publicly available until recently. While tools that provide price information about medical services are now available online, IF Technologies Inc. introduced an iPhone application in January that enables users to compare prices of medical procedures while they are sitting in their doctors' offices.
New Game Makes It Easier for Employees to Understand How HDHPs Work
As more employers make the switch to full replacement HDHPs, it's more important than ever that employees fully engage with open enrollment materials so that they understand how to use the plans. Context Communication Consulting has developed an easy-to-use game for employees that explains the benefits of HDHPs and exactly how the cost structure affects their bottom line.
Employers who cannot afford to offer medical insurance to their employees need to check out high deductible health plans. HDHPs can be significantly less expensive than traditional insurance plans -- and when combined with health savings plans, can be a win-win for employer and employee alike. How do employees cover the deductible, should they need to? This is where health savings accounts come into the picture.
Employer Contributions to Health Accounts Fall as Individual Contributions Rise
Employer contribution patterns to account-based health plans are changing, according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. “It’s not that employers are reducing how much they’re contributing, it’s that employers who are newly adopting the plans aren’t contributing as much as those who were already offered,” says author Paul Fronstin of EBRI. He speculated that it may be due to the economy.
Health Insurance Providers Seek Direct-to-Consumer Connections
The affordable care act is forcing health insurance companies outside their comfort zone of business-to-business marketing. The industry is being forced to replace its agent-driven model with a consumer-facing strategy led by direct-marketing teams. These marketing teams will work to gain consumer support when the law creates, among other things, insurance exchanges.
Health Insurance Companies: An Endangered Species?
By 2020, “the American health insurance industry will be extinct,” writes Ezekiel Emanuel, on the New York Times opinion blog. Time will tell. Perhaps the insurance companies will wake up and present a real medical insurance policy (not the prepaid medical plans now sold as insurance) that includes the catastrophic coverage that most families need, and, as an option, a health savings account (HSA) that the individual owns to pay for routine medical expenses.
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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.