Both the pace and scope of changes in the healthcare/health insurance space accelerated this past week (7/15/19-7/19/19) with several important developments. Here’s a recap of what all took place…
The “consumerization” of healthcare continues with the advent of a relatively new concept – prepaid healthcare! A company called – MDsave – is making headlines with their prepaid voucher concept for healthcare, which strongly resembles travel sites like Orbitz, Kayak, Expedia, and Travelocity.
Since the arrival of high deductible health insurance plans (HDHP) coupled with tax preferred spending accounts (SA) on to the employee benefits scene nearly 22 years ago, a number of “best practices” have emerged to assist employers and brokers/consultants in deploying them. These types of plans, often referred to as “consumer driven health” plans…or CDH, have five (5) specific employer best practices I have developed for successful introduction/open enrollment of such plans.
Last month (May, 2018) the IRS issued its anticipated 2019 calendar year, inflation adjusted figures affecting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and the associated/required qualified High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). Changed figures for 2019 are indicated in red in the chart that follows; along with the current (2018) and prior (2017) year’s limits. 2017 2018LEARN MORE
As the old saying goes – “the more things change…the more they remain the same”! A little more than a month ago, we shared the news that the IRS had reduced the previously announced, 2018 family Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limit by $50 (from $6,900 to $6,850).See – https://smstevensandassociates.com/irs-updates-2018-hsa-family-contribution-amount/ This “middle of the game” changeLEARN MORE
On March 5, 2018, the IRS issued a bulletin which contained, among other things, revised cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for 2018. The previously passed tax reform law (i.e., Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) created the need for the revised COLAs, which have a direct impact in the employee benefits world affecting Health Savings AccountsLEARN MORE
Recently the IRS issued it’s anticipated Health Savings Account (HSA) guidance for calendar year 2018. Listed below are the changes to current IRS rules affecting HSAs, and qualified high deductible health insurance plans, effective in 2018: HSA Contribution Maximum (Individual/Self Only Coverage): $3,450 ($3,400 in ’17). HSA Contribution Maximum (Family Coverage): $6,900 ($6,750 in ’17).LEARN MORE
Earlier this summer (2016) the IRS released its annual guidance affecting Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and associated qualified high deductible health plans (QHDHP). Interestingly, for the first time since rules were relaxed to allow contribution amounts to be higher than a percentage of the deductible (remember those days?), the IRS chose to keep the maximumLEARN MORE
Back in the 1960’s, the average cost of an overnight hospital admission was around $100. Not coincidentally, most health insurance plans at the time set their deductible amounts somewhere between $0 and $100. Today, adjusting for geographical differences, PPO discounts, etc., an overnight stay in a hospital will run you between $1,700 – $2,500. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average health insurance plan deductible in 2014 for an individual covered by employer based coverage was $1,214 (up from $826 in 2009). Smaller employers (fewer than 200 employees) tend to have higher deductibles (nearly $1,800); while larger employers lean toward lower deductibles ( $971). Clearly, there is a relationship between health insurance deductible amounts, and the average cost of an overnight hospitalization.