Tag: "Health Savings Accounts"

Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Health Spending One Eighth

credit-card-2The Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, examining consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs, which HCCI defines as High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Arrangements). HCCI examines a database of claims submitted by Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare for their employer-sponsored group plans.

CDHPs shift payment from third-party bureaucracies (that is, insurers) back to patients directly. The results continue to impress:

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Commonwealth Fund: “Underinsurance” Unchanged Under Obamacare

Yet another pro-Obamacare organization has had to publish a study indicating that Obamacare is failing to achieve its objectives. I recently discussed Families USA’s report that one third of low income families cannot afford care under Obamacare.

This time it is the Commonwealth Fund, inventor of the notion of “underinsurance,” which is defined as out-of-pocket health costs (excluding premiums) comprising at least 10 percent of household income, or five percent if household income is less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

In 2014, the proportion of so-called “underinsured”, aged 18-64, was 23 percent – exactly the same as in 2012 and just one percentage point more than in 2010.


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Consumer-Driven Health Care Round Up

Lots going on in the Consumer-Driven space these days.

AHIP released its latest version of the annual HSA enrollment census. The results are impressive, though still understated since they only received responses from 71% of the companies. It finds enrollment growth of about 15% every year, now reaching 17.4 million. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the state-by-state breakdown of market penetration. The old Red State/Blue State divide does not hold up when it comes to market behavior. Some of the states with low enrollment include Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina, while some of the highest enrollments are found in Minnesota, Illinois, and Maine.

AHIP also released, along with the American Bankers’ Association, a report on HSA account activity. One notable tidbit from this report is the size of the contributions, both personal and from employers. The average personal contribution in 2012 was $2,337, and the average employer contribution was $1,142. Also interesting is that only 19% of all the accounts had $0 balances at the end of the year, indicating that most people are retaining funds in their accounts at least for future use, if not for long-term savings.

Dr. Ben Carson has become a passionate advocate for HSAs, seeing them as a viable alternative to much of Obamacare. An op-ed he wrote has been widely circulated.

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HSA Update: Assets in Health Savings Accounts Exceeded $20 Billion in January

Key findings from the Devenir Year-End 2013 HSA Survey:

  • Steady account and asset growth. HSA accounts rose to 10.7 million accounts, holding assets totaling $19.3 billion, a year over year increase of 25% for HSA assets and 30% for accounts for the period of December 31st, 2012 to December 31st, 2013.
  • More providers offering HSAs. In 2013 over 2,200 banks and credit unions offered health savings accounts.
  • HSA contributions continue to rise. Total contributions to HSA accounts from December 2012 to December 2013 were estimated to be $16.4 billion, with accountholders retaining about 24% of those contributions after distributions for medical expenses.
  • HSA investment dollars grow with help from strong market. HSA investment assets reached an estimated $2.3 billion in December, up 30% from the end of 2012. The average investment account holder has an $11,350 average total balance (deposit and investment account).

Hits and Misses

1-2-3-ribbonResearch suggests that in the Olympics, those who finish third are likely to be a lot happier than those who finish second.

Something I bet you didn’t know: The father of affirmative action (in the sense of racial preferences and quotas) was Richard Nixon.

There are almost 11 million Health Savings Accounts with well over $20 billion in assets.

Under EU rules Britain will add illegal drug sales and prostitution to its calculations of GDP.

The Uneasy Case for Wellness Programs, and Other Links

health-promotion-companiesAustin Frakt on Rand: Wellness programs don’t save money.

Feminists against the pill.

Female doctors make $50,000 less than male doctors.

The case for Health Savings Accounts.

Interactive map shows how your premiums will likely change under ObamaCare.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Only 2 percent of E-prescribing alerts prompted any action from physicians during patient visits. Most alerts were “too much, too late.”

The marriage tax: Overturning DOMA could increase federal tax revenues by $1 billion a year.

Kaiser Health News tells you everything that can go wrong with a Health Savings Account.

Health Savings Accounts Grow

[T]he number of people who use HSAs and HRAs continues to climb, as do their contributions to the accounts, according to [EBRI]…

Forty-two percent of employees said they contributed at least $1,500 to an HSA last year, while just 15 percent said they made no contribution, the institute found…

Seventy percent of workers with an HSA or HRA said their employer contributed to their accounts, and the percentage of employers making contributions of more than $1,000 rose from 14 percent to 22 percent.

Sam Baker in The Hill.

Chemicals that Lead to More and Larger Fat Cells, and Other Links

Can a single drop of an endocrine-disrupting chemical cause us to be fat?

“[T]his is a president who still has not had Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton to dinner…

For the seemingly healthy, annual physicals provide no benefit.

European scientists building an artificial brain.

Health savings accounts grow to $15.5 billion in 2012.

Austin Frakt Endorses Health Savings Accounts, and Other Links

Austin Frakt endorses health savings accounts.

You can’t be CEO if you’re fat.

There is no nursing shortage.

There is no doctor shortage.