ebri.org Notes, April, 2014
In 2001, a handful of employers started offering health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)—a then-new type of health plan. The most prevalent HRA-plan design then had a deductible of at least $1,000 for employee-only coverage along with a tax-preferred account that could be tapped by workers and their families to pay out-of-pocket health care expenses. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 included a provision to allow individuals with certain high-deductible health plans to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).
ebri.org Notes, April, 2014
The labor-force participation rate for those ages 55 and older rose throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, when it began to level off but with a small increase following the 2007–2008 economic downturn.
For those ages 55–64, the upward trend was driven almost exclusively by the increased labor-force participation of women, whereas the male participation rate was flat to declining. However, among those ages 65 or older,
the rate increased for both males and females over that period.
Continue Reading (see page 9)…
National Review, July 15, 2014
As Obamacare, beset with calamities, enters its fourth year, the cerulean-blue state of Vermont is well into its fourth year of preparing to astonish America by installing Canadian-style single-payer health care. To understand the political dynamics of this plan, it’s necessary to go back to the 2010 election for governor.
After eight able years at the helm, much of it spent deflecting left-wing (known locally as “Sanderista,” after socialist senator Bernie Sanders) legislative initiatives, popular Republican governor Jim Douglas stepped down. Five Democrats leaped into the race to succeed him.
Forbes, July 10, 2014
Most state legislative sessions have come to a close, but this hasn’t stopped Medicaid debates across the country from raging on.
In 2014, just one state, New Hampshire, has implemented ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion. The failure of ObamaCare advocates to convince more states may explain the dearth of reporting on this issue from a mainstream media that often seems solidly supportive of Medicaid expansion.
What may be even less covered, however, are the many states that are examining ways to fix a broken Medicaid program that costs too much and delivers health outcomes that, at best, are inconsistent for the patients relying on the safety net.
North Carolina is one state exploring reform, while simultaneously exposing the many fault lines that develop during reform efforts.
HealthAffairs, July 10, 2014
A primary aim of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to expand insurance coverage, especially among households with lower incomes. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that about one-third of the additional insurance coverage expected to occur because of the law will come from expansion of the existing, unreformed Medicaid program. The rest of the coverage expansion will come from enrolling millions of people into subsidized insurance offerings on the ACA exchanges — offerings that have strong similarities to Medicaid insurance.