Surprise Medical Bills and ‘Balance Billing’ in Crosshairs
May 14, 2019
When your medical care provider charges more than your insurance company is willing to reimburse, you may get a bill asking you to pay the difference - a practice called "balance billing." The Trump administration is moving to put a stop to the practice.
In a recent White House round table on limiting health care expenditures, President Trump vowed to end balance billing, citing a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation that showed that four out of 10 Americans had received a surprise medical bill in the past year.
The practice is already banned for participating Medicare and Medicaid providers, though non-participating Medicare providers who haven't completely opted out of the program can still impose a surcharge of up to 15%.
How does balance billing ...
Helping Your Staff Get the Most from Their HSA Plans
May 7, 2019
As more employers adopt high-deductible health plans, which leave their employees with more “skin in the game,” it’s important that you educate them on how to get the most out of the attached health savings accounts.
Unfortunately, your employees may not be using the funds in their HSAs as efficiently as they should, and they could be leaving money on the table. One of the most common ways that happens is spending those funds on inappropriate care or misdiagnosed afflictions. It’s estimated that up to $1 trillion a year is spent on this type of erroneous care.
The nice thing about HSAs is that they have a threefold tax benefit:
Money goes into the accounts pre-tax,
The funds in the HSA grow tax-free, and
Funds are withdrawn tax-free if used ...
Trump Administration Issues Proposed Rules for Short-Term Plans
May 1, 2019
As promised, the Trump administration has issued proposed rules that would allow individuals to skirt Affordable Care Act regulations and buy short-term, low-coverage health plans.
Under the proposal, individuals would be able to purchase short-term plans that last up to 12 months, compared to the three-month maximum under the ACA.
The proposal would also exempt these short-term plans from ACA rules about what kind of coverage individual health plans are supposed to have, like covering 10 essential health benefits and barring insurers from rejecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.
The administration said short-term plans are meant for people who:
Cannot afford ACA coverage purchased on exchanges,
Are between jobs and need temporary ...
OSHA’s Anti-retaliation Rules for ACA
April 23, 2019
Do you know that Fed-OSHA has regulations on whistleblowing and employer retaliation under the Affordable Care Act?
The rules set forth procedures and time frames for reporting and processing whistleblower complaints by employees against their employers and expand the instances in which an employee can sue their employer for retaliation under the ACA. (more…) ...
HDHP Enrollees More Likely to Consider Costs and Quality
April 16, 2019
A new study has found that people enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) actually are more likely to consider costs and quality when considering non-emergency care.
The 14th annual “Consumer Engagement in Health Care” study by the Employee Benefits Research Institute and market research firm Greenwald & Associates surveyed 2,100 adults, most of whom receive health coverage via their employers.
The survey found that people enrolled in health plans with a deductible of at least $1,350 for self only, and $2,700 for families, were more likely to take costs into account when making health care decisions.
Evidence of cost-conscious behavior:
55% of HDHP enrollees said they checked whether their health plan would cover their care or medication prior to purchase, ...
As Drug Prices Skyrocket, This Top 10 List Will Shock You
April 9, 2019
It’s no secret that the cost of pharmaceuticals is going through the roof. You’ve heard the stories of price-gouging by some companies that have jacked up prices thousands of percent.
Drug costs are starting to weigh heavily on the cost of care, in turn driving up health insurance premiums, which individuals, employees and employers are all feeling. The cost of some medications is so extreme that a single dose may far surpass the total premium paid for coverage.
Also, most people never really know the true price of a drug unless they are 100% on the hook for medications under their health plan. Often, you may have a copay that may differ depending on the type of drug, so people usually only see what they pay. However, every year more people are on the hook for the ...