Thursday, February 23. 2012
A recent report from Interactive Health Solutions showed that companies that use healthcare wellness programs as a part of their offering typically save significant amounts of money in healthcare costs.
Those companies that used a wellness program witnessed healthcare costs decline by 8.4 percent year-over-year, according to the report. In addition, 81 percent of workers were able to meet or bear their goals for the year. The report examined more than 1 million employees at approximately 1,400 places of work in the past year.
"This is about staying healthy and possibly even saving lives, as well as containing costs," said Joseph O'Brien, president and chief executive officer of IHS. "Performance-based programs are having a positive impact on the employer's bottom line as well as employee health."
If a consumer is not happy with their company's healthcare offering, or they don't have a wellness option, it could be a good plan to look elsewhere for health insurance. By comparing affordable health insurance rates, consumers may find exactly what they need.
Ernst & Young recently released a survey which showed that consumers want to be rewarded for loyalty and also want help that is personalized for their needs.
The Global Consumer Insurance Survey 2012 showed that 43 percent of consumers felt that their company did not do enough to reward them for loyalty. When it comes to working online, 71 percent said that personal interaction from their insurer is important when extending their coverage, while 82 percent noted that it is necessary when making a claim.
"The bottom line is that building a strong brand through new online and offline channels will have a positive impact on sales, especially among Millennials," said David Hollander, global insurance advisory leader for Ernst & Young. "Insurers should define how their brand will be delivered to customers and design all processes to consistently deliver on that promise."
Consumers who don't feel their health insurance plan involves enough personalization may want to compare their current plan with other health insurance quotes. There may be another option that has what they are looking for.
“Mr. HSA” Projects 2013 HSA Numbers
"With last Friday's release of the January inflation figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2013 are coming into view," says “Mr. HSA,” Roy Ramthun . "I can now project the 2013 numbers for HSAs with virtual certainty."
Roy Ramthun, also known as “Mr. HSA,” is now projecting the 2013 amounts for HSAs. "With last Friday's release of the January inflation figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs) for 2013 are coming into view," says Ramthun. "With only two months of data remaining to be collected, we can now project the 2013 numbers for HSAs with virtual certainty."
Because of the enactment of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-432), the data period for calculating the inflation adjustments runs through March (reported by the BLS in April). The U.S. Treasury Department is required to publish the inflation-adjusted amounts for the upcoming year for HSAs by June 1 each year.
Ramthun predicts that the maximum HSA contribution (not including catch-up contributions) will increase to $3,200 for individuals with self-only coverage and $6,450 for those with family coverage in 2013. The annual catch-up contribution for individuals age 55 or older is set by statute and will remain $1000 per person for 2013.
Ramthun also predicts that changes will be forthcoming for the HSA-qualified insurance plans as well. “For the first time in three years, the minimum deductible for HSA-qualified plans will increase. Health plans that have been using the minimum deductible will need to update their plans for next year” The minimum deductible is projected to rise to $1,250 for individuals with self-only coverage and $2,500 for individuals with family coverage.
“The limits on out-of-pocket expenses will also rise for 2013,” says Ramthun. The new limits are expected to increase to $6,250 for individuals with self-only coverage and $12,500 for individuals with family coverage. “Existing plans with lower limits will not have to change this feature of their plan designs but can if they want to,” says Ramthun.
About Roy Ramthun:
Roy Ramthun led the U.S. Treasury Department’s implementation of the HSA program after they were enacted in 2003. Now a private consultant, Ramthun is a nationally-recognized expert on HSAs and consumer-driven health plans. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the country. More information is available here.