When it comes to benefits, think like a CFO

Posted by Brian Tolbert on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 15:08

How to get more transparency and better control over healthcare costs

Benefits are typically the largest expense item in a company’s budget next to payroll. Traditionally, managing the benefits budget hasn’t been like managing other business expenses, as employers have had little to no transparency into these costs. While most employers would be averse to accepting annual increases of 10 or 15 percent on other business expenses, they have never been able to apply the same level of scrutiny to their healthcare spend.

But things are changing. As healthcare spending continues to rise with no end in sight, maintaining the status quo is simply no longer an option. Fortunately, action steps similar to those you’d take in other parts of your organization are available for your health plan. At Bernard Health’s 8th Annual Health Reform Luncheon, our team explained how small and mid-sized company leaders can think about their benefits like a CFO. Here are some of the highlights.

Read More

Tags: employer digest, health insurance small employers, employers, health savings accounts, HSAs

Three things employers should know about the new HSA bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 06, 2018 @ 09:08

New bills could expand qualified expenses and contribution limits

In July, the House of Representatives passed two new bills affecting Health Savings Accounts. The new bills could expand the list of qualified medical expenditures, as well as nearly double contribution limits.

With adoption of high-deductible health plans still on the rise, the new regulations would expand the opportunity for employers to maximize the value of their benefits plans and support employees in opening accounts.

Here’s what employers should know about the new bill:

Read More

Tags: employer digest, health insurance small employers, employers, health savings accounts, HSAs

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.

Read More

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

Tips for optimizing an HSA benefits strategy

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 08:05

Health Savings Account use continues to rise

A new study from the National Center For Health Statistics shows significant growth in the number of consumers with HSA-eligible plans and consumers with HSAs, though opportunities for increased adoption remain.

The study, which covered the first nine months of 2017, found that nearly half of privately insured consumers under the age of 65 have high-deductible, or HSA-eligible, health plans.

Eighteen percent of those enrollees also have a Health Savings Account, though a quarter of consumers with HSA-eligible plans do not yet have a Health Savings Account.

These percentages are on the rise. The percentage of people enrolled in HSA-eligible plans has increased almost 18 percent since 2010, and the percentage of people with HSAs has more than doubled since 2010.

Does your organization struggle with HSA adoption? Many do. Here are three challenges and solutions to an optimized HSA-eligible benefits strategy:

Read More

Tags: employer digest, health insurance small employers, employers, health savings accounts, HSAs

How much should I contribute to my HSA in 2018?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 07:01

What individuals should know

Wondering about the best strategy to fund your HSA this year? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approaches to Health Savings Accounts, but here are a few things to consider.

First—what’s an HSA? Consumers with high deductible health plans are eligible to fund Health Savings Accounts. These savings accounts allow consumers to contribute funds tax-free to be used for qualified medical expenses. You never pay any taxes on funds used for medical expenses, and unused funds roll over every year. After age 65, you can continue to use the funds for medical expenses, or you can withdraw the funds for any use and pay only income taxes.

So how much should you contribute?

Read More

Tags: HSA-eligible plans, HSA-based plan, HSA questions, HSA Advice, HSAs, health savings accounts, HSA Plan

Consumers missing HSA investment opportunity

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 07:10

Most using HSA as a specialized checking account 

According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the vast majority of Health Savings Account holders are not taking advantage of the investment potential of their accounts.

The study reported that most account holders use their HSAs as “specialized checking accounts,” using the funds to cover deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. But they aren’t taking advantage of the investment opportunity of HSAs, nor are they maximizing their contributions.

The report found that just 4 percent of account holders invested their HSA balance, and the average total contribution in 2016 was $2,922, less than one half of the allowable maximum for family coverage.

While using HSAs for healthcare expenses is valuable, maximizing contributions and investing funds can be the most effective way to benefit from the accounts.

Read More

Tags: individual digest, Individual health insurance, High Deductible Health Plan, deductible, health insurance deductible, high deductibles, health savings, health savings account, health savings accounts, HSA, HSA Advice, HSAs

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?

Read More

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

How to reimburse yourself from your HSA

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, May 01, 2017 @ 10:05

What to do if you don’t have enough in your HSA to cover your bill

Have a Health Savings Account and experience a medical event? Even if you don’t have enough in your HSA to cover the bill at that time, you can reimburse yourself later.

As long as the account was opened before the healthcare experience occurred, you can reimburse yourself at any time. Here’s how it works.

Read More

Tags: individual digest, Individual health insurance, High Deductible Health Plan, deductible, health insurance deductible, high deductibles, health savings, health savings account, health savings accounts, HSA, HSA Advice, HSAs

Why don’t employees choose HSA-eligible plans?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 10:02

How to address common challenges

Health Savings Accounts are the foundation of Bernard Health. We built our brokerage in 2006 on the principle that HSAs were key to making healthcare more effective and sustainable for employers, and have since then helped hundreds of employers adopt an HSA strategy.

But we know that some employers struggle with adoption. In fact, industry averages indicate only 7 percent to 10 percent of employees sign up for the HSA option, negating the savings employers can find in transitioning to this type of plan. What’s going wrong?

At Bernard Health, our average enrollment in HSA-eligible plans is 81 percent. We’ve been helping employers introduce this strategy for more than 10 years, and we know the challenges you may face. We’ll cover those below. And if you aren’t sure whether this strategy is right for you, be sure to download our free case study: Consider HSA-Eligible Plans for more information on how they work, what savings you may find, and more information on these challenges.

Read More

Tags: employers, solutions for employers, employer digest, HSA, HSAs, HSA Plan, HSA Advice

How would Trump expand HSAs?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 @ 09:12

Popular proposal could see traction in 2017

Expanding Health Savings Accounts is a popular conservative health policy likely to see traction under President Donald Trump next year.

But what does expansion mean for the tax-advantaged savings accounts? Many consumers already have HSAs, which allow consumers to contribute funds tax-free and use them for qualified medical expenses.

A number of bills and proposals have been put forth for expanding HSAs in 2016 and in prior years, but nothing has been passed yet. We’ll have to wait until Trump takes office in late January to see which expansion elements his administration might propose, but here are a few ideas:

Read More

Tags: individual digest, Individual Plans, HSA, HSAs, health savings account, health savings accounts, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan

Email Subscription

employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom