Entries in Thayer, Claire (112)

Wednesday
Sep022015

Cadillac tax may hit over 25% of employers starting in 2018

By Claire Thayer, September 2, 2015

One of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the high-cost plan tax (HCPT), aka the ‘Cadillac’ tax,  will be imposed on health insurance companies as well as sponsors of self-funded group health plans beginning in 2018.  Plans that exceed cost thresholds will incur the excise tax.  For 2018, cost thresholds are $10,200 for an individual (single coverage) and $27,500 for family. The excise tax is 40% of the amount that exceed these thresholds.

A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation of the impact of the Cadillac tax on employers summarizes the overall cost for each employee to include:

  • The average cost for the health insurance plan (whether insured or self-funded);
  • Employer contributions to an (HSA), Archer medical spending account or HRA;
  • Contributions (including employee-elected payroll deductions and non-elective employer contributions) to an FSA;
  • The value of coverage in certain on-site medical clinics; and
  • The cost for certain limited-benefit plans if they are provided on a tax-preferred basis.

This same study estimates that in 2018, over 25% of employers offering health plan benefits may be subject to the Cadillac tax, and by 2028, as many as 42% of employers will incur this excise tax:

As employers look for ways to save costs, the Cadillac tax will have a huge impact on flexible spending accounts (FSAs), with some analysts conjecturing that this could lead to the demise of FSAs, as reported last week on Politico. Expect employers to make benefits changes during the open enrollment season for both this year and next. For more in-depth discussion, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s August 2015 Issue Brief will be insightful.

Tuesday
Aug252015

The Role of Master Data Management in Health Care

By Claire Thayer, August 25, 2015

Health Market Science tells us that Master Data Management (MDM) in health care encompasses everything from patient data to provider data detailing the treatments, procedures, modalities, products and processes which govern and describe patient interactions and outcomes. A recent KPMG survey finds that a slight 10% of health care organizations are effectively using advanced data collection and analytic tools in this regard.  MCOL’s recent infoGraphoid outlined summary findings from the KPMG survey, along with core customer entity types, key barriers to properly implementing data and analytic tools and primary main drivers to MDM:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Friday
Jul172015

Accuracy of Provider Directories

By Claire Thayer, July 17, 2015

Beginning in 2016, health plans will face stiff penalties for failing update and monitor their provider directories. Kaiser Health News reports that inaccuracies in provider directories may trigger penalties of up to $25,000 per day per beneficiary for inaccuracies in Medicare Advantage directories while providers involved with plans on the federal exchanges could face penalties of up to $100 per day per affected beneficiary for problems in their directories.

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week takes a deeper look into the state of provider directories across the country:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Thursday
Jun182015

Health Plan Member Portals

By Claire Thayer, June 18, 2015

During the months of May and June, MCOL and LexisNexis conducted an e-poll of healthcare professionals on their involvement and insights with health plan member portals.  Respondents were categorized as Health Plan, Integrated delivery Network, Third Party Administrator (TPA), Self-Insured Employer, and Other. Overall, two thirds of the respondents indicated that they currently have a health plan member portal in place, and 43% of those who currently don’t have a health plan member portal in place plan on establishing one within the next 12 months. 

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week highlights results from the MCOL / LexisNexis e-poll as well as Cigna’s experience with their CDHP customers’ use of health portals and a recent HIMSS Leadership survey on use of patient portals:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.

Wednesday
May202015

Impact of Stress on Health Risk

By Claire Thayer, May 20, 2015

Stress is prevalent, and at some point, all of us are faced with some type of stress in our lives.  What is considered as a stressful situation to one person may be inconsequential to another.  A recent WebMD study finds that 43% of all adults suffer adverse affects from stress. WebMD tells us that a little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. However, it’s the ongoing chronic stress that can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

MCOL’s infoGraphoid for this week takes a look at the impact of stress on health risk, outlining three different types of stress and the impact on both overall physical and mental health:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.