W3C Valid XHTML 1.0
Chad Terhune
Los Angeles Times|latimes.com

With open enrollment for benefits in full swing, U.S. workers are seeing more high-deductible health plans from cost-conscious employers.

A new report finds that 36 percent of large employers offered consumer-directed, high-deductible health plans in 2012, up from 14 percent five years ago. Enrollment in those plans has risen to 16 percent of all covered employees, compared with 5 percent in 2007, according to benefits consultant Mercer.

Employers are pushing these plans in part because they are about 20 percent cheaper than the cost of a conventional PPO — or preferred-provider organization — plan, Mercer said. The cost of a high-deductible medical plan with a health savings account is $7,833 annually per employee compared with $10,007 for a PPO plan. read more »

 
More consumers may be getting checkups and other care at stores and pharmacies as the Affordable Care Act extends health insurance to 30 million people.

If you thought it was hard getting a doctor’s appointment now, just wait until 30 million more Americans join the line.

Nearly 3 in 4 California counties already lack a sufficient number of family physicians, and by 2020 the U.S. faces an estimated shortage of 40,000 primary-care doctors with no way to remedy that in just a few years.

As a result, more consumers may soon find themselves getting their checkups and help in managing their high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes at the local pharmacy or Walmart as the Affordable Care Act extends health insurance to 30 million people and puts unprecedented strain on an already fragile network of primary care. read more »

 
Syndicate content