HSAs and Medicare – Like Oil and Water

Oil bubbles with water

I see more and more employers offering high deductible health plans (HDHPs) every year. This type of plan can be tricky, but it’s increasingly popular in the quest to keep premium spend down as healthcare costs rise. We come across our fair share of questions and issues with HDHPs and health savings accounts (HSAs) at… [Read More]

Reference-Based Pricing – Coming to a Health Plan Near You?

Man paying bill. Hand black line, holding receipt. Payment of utility, bank, restaurant. Concept business finance. Vector illustration flat minimal design. Report finance, invoice, expenses.

I think you are going to hear more about reference-based pricing. Some history: What stops a provider from charging whatever they want for care? Let’s say a doctor charges $200 to remove a splinter. If the patient were paying, she/he might try to negotiate the charge or get care elsewhere. But they are most often not. The… [Read More]

A Few Suggestions to Simplify Healthcare

Path or way from A to B - solution strategy concept

I keep waiting for Bezos-Buffet-Dimon to call me (I know they will one day) but in the meantime, cyberspace is a good place to share my thoughts on healthcare redesign. The front door to healthcare delivery should be an easy-to-use smartphone application which is pre-populated with a healthcare calendar, set up with you and your doctor, to remind you… [Read More]

Can You Believe What Happened to Me at the Pharmacy?

pharmacy counter with blur shelves of drug in the pharmacy drugstore background

This is going to be a rant blog. I happen to know that a lot of people from Aetna (which is my insurer) read this. But, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s Aetna or another medical insurer – they all have the same issues. Thankfully I am reasonably healthy. As with most people, my most frequent encounter with the… [Read More]

Reference-Based Pricing – Not Just for Large Groups Anymore

Reference-Based Pricing – Not Just for Large Groups Anymore

“It’s not health insurance that’s expensive; it’s the cost of healthcare,” a keen observation from a recent blog post by Frenkel Benefits’ president, Craig Hasday. It’s safe to reason that anything which lowers the cost of healthcare should lower premium rates – but is it that easy to get done? Employers try to mitigate healthcare costs in… [Read More]

A Look Back at Private Exchanges

A Look Back at Private Exchanges

It’s been about 5 years since we posted our thoughts about the likely adoption of private exchanges. At the time, consultants and Wall Street analysts were touting these exchanges as the greatest innovation in employer benefits since 401(k)s. Many suggested that by 2018 more than 20%, and perhaps as many as 50%, of employers would… [Read More]

Online Enrollment – More Than Just Simplifying Administration

Online Enrollment—More Than Just Simplifying Administration 

Enrollment and reporting are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the features and functions of online enrollment platforms. Technology is playing a huge role in communicating benefits information to employees outside of the open enrollment period and enrollment platforms can really maximize your communications efforts, pushing out education to employees and… [Read More]