What is an HRA-IIHIC?

President Trump wants to allow more people be able to purchase lower cost health plans. Most of the media has focused on plans to make it easier to purchase short-term plans and association health plans. However, a recent final rule is also making it easier to use pre-tax dollars to fund premiums for individual health…

Trump Executive Order to Mandate Price Transparency for Providers

As the N.Y. Times reports, more transparency is coming to provider prices. The White House released an executive order Monday afternoon intended to require insurance companies, doctors and hospitals to give patients more information about precisely what their care will cost before they get it. More transparency is generally good and surprise billing for out-of-network costs has been a major…

Do HDHPs save money?

This is the question that Zhang et al. (2017) attempt to answer using data form people who switched to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) compared to those who stayed in the same plan.  They found: After enrollment in HDHPs, 28 percent of enrollees changed physicians for office visits (compared to 19 percent in the Traditional…

Health Insurance for Part Time Workers

The goal of LyfeBank is basically to serve as a 401(k) for health insurance.  Employers can make contributions to the employees health insurance into a fund and workers can use this money to buy various health insurance products, reimburse themselves for co-payments or deductibles, or pay for medical costs directly. LyfeBank has two key innovations.  The…

Federal Health Care Regulation: Taxation

Today we will discuss how the tax code affects health care. Tax exemption of employer-provided health insurance. “In 1943, the Internal Revenue Service (ruled) that employees could exclude the value of employer-paid health insurance premiums from their taxable income. In 1954, Congress excluded by statute the value of employer-purchase health insurance from gross income.” To…