Health Care Consolidation

Consolidation of health care delivery systems may be good for hospitals, however, it can cost private payers and employers 6-10% in price increases each year. Consolidation reduces competition and that increases prices for consumers and plans.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has increased the number of mergers including hospitals merging with other hospitals, physician groups merging with other physician groups, and hospitals acquiring physician groups who then work for the hospital.

Policymakers should consider looking at regulating MDH’s and taking other actions to mitigate the effects of consolidation. Read more about potential solutions.

Source: JAMA

Changes to FSA Rules for 2021 

FSA accounts have always been “use it or lose it” however due to Covid-19 that has changed for 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act signed into law by the Trump administration in December amended guidelines. These new changes mean that employees now have until the end of 2021 to use their FSA funds—including employees who were laid off during the pandemic.

The breakdown of this extension leaves employers with two options, unlimited carryover of funds or a 12-month grace period. Read more details about this extension.

Source: BenefitNews.com

Survey: Many Employees Want Help Understanding Benefits 

A new survey from Voya Financial revealed that 35% of employed individuals reported not fully understanding any of the employee benefits they enrolled in during the last enrollment period. Younger workers are more likely to not understand benefits and 54% of Millennials reported they don’t understand their benefits selection.

Employees also reported they want more guidance and education on their benefit options and more information on saving for retirement, emergency savings, and health care expenses.
One bit of good news is that nearly six in 10 workers spent more time reviewing benefits as a result of the pandemic. Find out more about this study.

Source: National Association of Plan Advisors

Mobile Medical Clinics May be the Future of Health Care

Covid-19 created a necessity for innovation in health care—or adoption of current practices. Mobile health clinics help to “meet people where they are” and can be instrumental in making access to health care more equitable.
Research indicates that the “convenience and reduced logistics” eliminates some of the barriers to access for low-income patients. Mobile care can help increase access, reduce costs and provide an in-person medical exam that many people prefer over virtual visits. Learn more here.

Source: Forbes

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