You can increase your Flexible Spending Contribution…
- Monday, 03 December 2018 09:24
Employees can sock away another $50 in their flexible spending accounts next year.
The IRS announced that the annual contribution limit to FSAs will be $2,700 in 2019, up from the 2018 limit of $2,650. The increase also applies to limited-purpose FSAs that are restricted to dental and vision care services, which can be used in tandem with health savings accounts.
For a dependent care FSA, the 2019 contribution limit for an individual who is married but filing jointly is $2,500. For married couples filing jointly or single parents filing as head of household, the limit is $5,000. That limit is not changed from 2018.
MUSC expanding Statewide
- Friday, 23 November 2018 10:56
MUSC is expanding in South Carolina, purchasing four community hospitals in Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Mullins.
This is likely the beginning of the hospital empire-building process that has already happened in the larger urban areas of the country. In many areas of the US, the healthcare is dominated by 2-3 large hospital networks. The advantage is it feeds their specialty centers, and allows some reduction in expenses. However, it makes it harder for employees as they may not be able to find a health plan that includes their doctors/hospital.
Walmart will require workers to travel for spine surgery in effort to cut healthcare costs
- Friday, 16 November 2018 06:57
Walmart is aiming to lower healthcare spending by requiring employees to travel to certain hospitals for spine surgeries, according to The Wall Street Journal. Here are four things to know:
1. Over the past five years, Walmart has encouraged employees to undergo a variety of procedures, including spine, heart, hip and knee surgeries, at hospitals known for providing high-quality care. As an incentive, the retail giant offered to pay for the full cost of the procedures and travel.
2. Beginning in January, Walmart is mandating the travel for spine surgeries in an effort to lower healthcare costs and reduce unnecessary procedures.
3. Walmart has teamed up with major health systems for the mandatory program, including Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger and Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System.
4. Walmart, which provides health benefits that cover more than 1 million people, will not require workers to travel to designated hospitals for heart surgeries and other procedures included in the voluntary program.
Oscar Health sues Florida Blue, alleging monopoly of individual ACA health insurance market
- Thursday, 15 November 2018 17:58
Naseem S. Miller / Orlando Sentinel
Oscar Health, the new player in Florida’s ACA marketplace, has filed a federal lawsuit against Florida Blue, alleging that the insurer is using improper tactics to stifle competition in the state and monopolize the individual plan market.
In an antitrust lawsuit filed on Tuesday morning in the federal court’s Middle District of Florida, Oscar alleges that Florida Blue, the largest provider of ACA plans in Florida, has launched a “targeted campaign” to prevent Oscar from entering Orlando by “coercing” brokers into “anticompetitive exclusive agreements” and preventing them from selling Oscar’s plans.
More than 190 brokers have backed out of agreements to sell Oscar’s individual plans, resulting in loss of sales for Oscar, it said.
“When we go to a new city, one of the first things we do is to introduce ourselves to local brokers,” said Bruce Gottlieb, general counsel and executive vice president of strategic partnerships at Oscar. “In every city we’ve gone to, we’ve been able to sign up most of the largest brokers in the city. … Except for Orlando. Florida Blue is preventing brokers telling clients about the lowest-priced plans in the region.”