BHCG Monitor: Focus on Health Care Benefits

In this issue:



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All issues of the Monitor can be found on the BHCG web site at: News > Industry News.


BHCG Monitor: Health Care Reform - Notable News


Health Care Reform — Notable News

Health care reform with all its nuances and implications is an issue that remains front and center on our employer members’ radar screens. As such, look for this column about all things pertaining to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be a regular feature of the BHCG Monitor. We will be keeping you up to date on ACA developments relevant to employers and also providing information that we hope will be helpful you to you as you continue to develop your health care reform compliance strategies.


BHCG Monitor: An Electronic Personal Health Record Primer


The Basics of Health Insurance Exchanges — Public and Private

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, health insurance exchanges fully entered the lexicon of health care and insurance in the United States. The exchanges delineated in the ACA will be public exchanges operating in every state. Private exchanges – promoting a shift to a defined contribution model for providing health care benefits – pre-date the ACA and have been in existence for at least the last half dozen years. This article seeks to serve as a primer regarding the status and development of both public and private health insurance exchanges.


BHCG Monitor: An Electronic Personal Health Record Primer


Consumer-directed health plans: Do they deliver? (a policy brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

The definition of CDHPs is rather fluid, but they are often associated with three features: a relatively high annual deductible, a personal spending account, and the availability of decision support tools for enrollees. In practice, however, not all CDHPs have all three features.

For purposes of this policy brief, a CDHP is defined as a high-deductible plan which is accompanied either by a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) or is eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA). The majority of the research evidence on which this brief is based is from employment-based settings in which high-deductible health plans are offered with an HRA (see below).


BHCG Monitor: Focus on Health Care Benefits - Primary Care Challenges


Primary Care — Challenges Ahead

The United States (including Wisconsin) is facing a shortage of primary care providers – a shortage that will only grow more acute in the coming years. Dwindling access to primary health care services is both an existing and growing problem, leading to a number of cost and quality concerns. The problem is compounded by an unequal distribution of primary care providers, with rural and central city areas facing the most acute shortages.

The reasons for the shortage are varied, which will require a variety of solutions to effectively address the problem. This article will examine the magnitude of the shortage (both now and in the future), the reasons for the shortage, the impact on employers and their employees and some of the steps that are being recommended by policy experts to address the situation.

BHCG Monitor: Focus on Health Care Benefits - April 2012