Health Care Link Dump

Just wanted to post some of the recent health care news.  There’s also been an uptick in the number of SCOTUS ruling previews, but none of them are really all that insightful.  Just parlor game speculation.

Also, the White House has issued a veto threat on the medical device tax repeal bill.  [Edit:  Link to Statement of Administration Policy]

AHIP released a survey that found the number of people enrolled in health savings accounts and high deductible health plans has tripled over the last five years.  Survey is available here.  The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News recently profiled employers’ increasing use of high deductible health plans.  Most of these plans already covered a lot of the essential benefits stuff for free, even before the ACA, which I probably should have known.  The article is available here.

Medical costs are expected to rise by 7.5 percent in 2013, the fourth consecutive year of modest increases, according to a study released by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Health Research Institute.   Four factors that will continue to slow the rise in medical costs in 2013: medical supply and equipment costs are moderating under market pressure; growth in physician services is expected to be one of the slowest areas of cost growth as consumers choose alternatives to traditional office visits; accessibility to information on prices is exerting downward pressure as consumers in high-deductible plans seek cost information and pricing information becomes more readily available; and pharmaceutical patents are expiring.  The study is available here.

The Washington Post and GAO on a ACA tax credit in that small businesses aren’t using due to the complexity of taking it.  article is available here.  The GAO report, “Small Employer Health Tax Credit – Factors Contributing to Low Use and Complexity” (GAO-12-549) is available here.

Video:  Former CMS Administrator says that premium support (aka vouchers) is going to happen.

8 Responses

  1. Thanx for the links and overview, NoVAH.

    OT: Do Kings win? How come they were so bad during the regular season I never saw their highlights, or were they good and not featured on ESPN for some arcane reason, like being in the Pacific time zone? That cannot be it – I saw Vancouver highlights.


  2. ESPN just doesn’t cover hockey. And if it does, it’s going to cover the big names that non-hockey fans know. none of those guys skate for LA. And they started off very poorly, fired their coach and turned it around. But, if not for a few losses against PHX and SJ to close out the regular season, they might have been a 3rd seed. So this isn’t a team that sneaked into the playoffs.

    I think the Kings win. NJ was down 3-0. too big a hole. it’s happened before, but twice, maybe 3 times, in league history.


  3. Thanks for all the links Nova. I have to leave this morning for an appointment but will read them when I get back or this evening. I’m very nervous about the SCOTUS ruling. It’s weird because I don’t even like the bill but am worried about our oldest daughter losing her PCIP coverage, it’s been a godsend, even with the high deductible.


  4. oh, PCIP was just in the news. they’re changing the qualification standards — doctors attestation won’t qualify anymore.


    i *think* this only applies to new applications. but, admittedly, this isn’t something I’ve really been following.

    see also:


  5. Interesting info nova. We probably would have taken advantage of the tax credit 6 or 7 years ago when we still had employees, although we did pay them fairly well, in the $10 – $12 for general warehouse work and $12 – $15 for office and accounting. That may or may not be considered higher pay by the standards in ACA. When I first heard about the tax credit in ACA I thought we’d get some relief from our now $1600 a month insurance premium for the two of us but as I’m the only employee it wasn’t worth the effort according to our tax guy.

    I predicted a couple of years ago that most large and small employers would have to go to higher deductible plans with the way costs were going up. Eventually I think most employers will forgo offering insurance as a benefit at all, very few small businesses can keep up. Then we’ll all either be in the individual market (good luck) or SOL. What will be interesting to me is how many people will not be able to get insurance through the individual market at any cost because of what they probably consider minor health issues. I had to sign a waiver on my back even for small group insurance, pre ACA, in order to get insurance. That’s right, I was not seeking further treatment for three herniated disks………………………..haaaaaahaaaaaa, I’ve stuck to it too.

    **Edit** The above paragraph assumes repeal of ACA.


  6. MiA – I lit a book on fire just for him!


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