IRS sets HSA limits for 2019

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 09:05

Limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2019.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,500, from $3,450 in 2018. For families, limits rise to $7,000, from 2017’s $6,900.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is $6,750, up from $6,650 in 2018, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,500, from $13,300 in  2018.

Bernard Health's HSA-eligible plan adoption rate is 81 percent—well over industry averages.  Here are three things to know about HSAs in 2019.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

IRS sets HSA limits for 2018

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 09:05

Limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2018.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,450, from $3,400 in 2017. For families, limits rise to $6,900, from 2017’s $6,700.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is up to $6,650 from $6,550 in 2017, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,300, from $13,100 in  2017.

HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be used for eligible medical costs. Want to learn more about HSAs?

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

Tools to slow healthcare spending represent $8.6 billion in revenue for providers in ‘17

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 11:03

Check out this column on Becker's Hospital Review

Americans are prudent, resourceful, and productive. We're responsible for Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, the iPhone and the Internet. We have the largest economy in the world, and our individual states generate more economic output than other leading global national economies. California's GDP is similar to Brazil's. Kentucky looks like New Zealand.

But somehow (and I say this respectfully as a guy who pays taxes and flies an American flag on his front porch), we're undisputed morons when it comes to healthcare spending.

There's no shortage of ideas for how Americans can spend healthcare dollars more efficiently. Some argue this is the biggest opportunity of our generation. Victor Fuchs, Stanford University emeritus professor of economics and policy, is famously quoted as saying "If we solve our healthcare spending, practically all of our fiscal problems go away." And if we don't, "Then almost anything else we do will not solve our fiscal problems."1 Smart Americans are currently testing ideas around pricing transparency, payment innovation, and population health.

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Tags: heath insurance, healthcare costs, advance care plan, advance care directive, advance care planning, insurance nashville, tennesseee

Clinton and Trump on insurance competition

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 @ 07:10

Check out our Huffington Post column: 

When it comes to improving the United States health system, increasing insurance competition is a key topic. It’s one both candidates for president have addressed, and even standing President Barack Obama wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that it was an area of the Affordable Care Act that needed improvement.

With the exit of UnitedHealthcare and Aetna from many of the ACA marketplaces,some communities are down to a limited number of carriers to choose from. Hit particularly hard are rural areas. For example, Alaska is down to a single insurer—Premera BlueCross BlueShield—which required a significant premium increase to continue operations in the state.

This dynamic is happening around the country. Even areas with two or three marketplace carriers have enough leverage to obtain more and more expensive premiums, because the rate of competition in many markets is too low to drive prices down. The insurance co-ops, created by the ACA in part to boost competition, were largely a failure, with more than half shutting down by 2016.

The ACA has improved the nation’s uninsured rate, but the lack of competition means affordability is still an issue. Clinton and Trump have proposed different solutions to improving competition in the U.S. health system.

Check out the full column hereIf you enjoyed this post, you may also like "Is Tennessee's marketplace 'near collapse?'"

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Tags: heath insurance, healthcare costs, Hillary Clinton, Huffington Post, Donald Trump, election 2016, individual digest, insurance competition

3 tips for choosing health insurance in Nashville for '17

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Sun, Oct 30, 2016 @ 15:10

Your options in Tennessee for 2017

Over 70,000 Nashville-area Tennesseans have individual health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. In early October, Blue Cross sent out letters notifying these members that they're no longer offering health insurance in this market next year. 

While this is frustrating news and the transition may not be easy, the good news is that there are still options. The rest of this post will outline (A) the options available and (B) how to choose the right health plan for 2017 and sign up.

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Tags: heath insurance, healthcare costs, insurance competition, insurance nashville, tennesseee

California tries to block Anthem/Cigna merger

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 07:06

Insurance commissioner says deal would raise prices

A second state has asked federal regulators to block another major health insurance merger currently on the table in the United States.

According to Reuters, California’s insurance commissioner has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to block Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna, “saying he is concerned it will raise premiums in the state.”

The commissioner, Dave Jones, said Anthem and Cigna would control 61 percent of the administrative services market.

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Tags: heath insurance, humana, aetna, cigna, Anthem, mergers

Survey shows health insurance literacy issues in Texas

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, May 13, 2016 @ 09:05

Consumers with marketplace insurance less confident in understanding insurance terms

A new study shows that many consumers with health insurance purchased through the exchanges lack confidence in understanding insurance terminology and how to use their plans.

The study, published by Rice University’s Baker Institute, focuses specifically on the Texas market. From 2013 to 2015, there was a 78 percent increase in Texans with individually-purchased health insurance coverage.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, health reform, heath insurance, Texas, health insurance literacy

IRS sets HSA limits for 2017

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 04, 2016 @ 09:05

Guidelines mostly unchanged for next year 

The Internal Revenue Service has released limits for health savings accounts in 2017. There isn't much change in store for the medical savings accounts, through which consumers can contribute funds tax-free to be used for medical expenses.

Guidelines for maximum out-of-pocket limits, contribution limits and minimum deductible levels are adjusted every year, but 2017’s rates will be mostly identical to this year’s.  Only individual contribution limits have been adjusted, by an increase of $50. See below for the new guidelines:

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

Anthem sees gains as UnitedHealth pulls back

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, May 02, 2016 @ 08:05

Insurers still divided on marketplace sustainability

UnitedHealthcare made headlines last month as the nation’s largest insurer announced plans to drop out of most of the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

The announcement wasn’t a huge surprise, as the company began teasing the news last November, saying it might cease offering marketplace coverage due to unsustainability.

But a few days after UnitedHealthcare’s announcement, Anthem—the second largest insurer—shared a different take on the health of the ACA marketplaces.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, health reform, heath insurance, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem

Confused about health insurance?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 @ 10:04

Check out our newest e-book for consumers

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, health reform, heath insurance, e-book

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