|Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.|
To help control the cost of offering insurance, employers have traditionally maintained a great deal of flexibility over the design of the health care benefits they provide. This has led to some tough decisions, especially during times when a business is struggling to make ends meet. However, preserving an employer's ability to navigate a complex health care market, even during an uncertain economic environment, has served us well for decades.
Many employers have found consumer-directed health care as one way to better manage costs on behalf of workers. One particularly popular choice is to pair a high deductible health plan with a health savings account. This allows individuals to guard against the cost of catastrophic medical treatment while also setting aside a portion of their pretax income to pay for future medical expenses.
Demand for consumer-directed health plans is on the rise. For example,
Consumer-directed health plans offer commonsense options to help millions of individuals secure a benefit plan that meets their health care needs at an affordable price. Unfortunately, recent policy changes threaten the success of these important plans.
Additionally, a bulletin released by the administration suggests government bureaucrats are crafting an unusual accounting scheme that will severely undervalue the contribution workers and employers make to a health savings account, which may actually discourage employers from offering this benefit in the future.
I am pleased the
We still don't know how the administration will ultimately define an "essential health benefit." Up to now, the administration has operated in the regulatory shadows and outside the formal rulemaking process, delivering uncertainty instead of the facts on its regulatory proposal.
We still don't know why the administration chose not to fulfill the intent of the law's grandfather provision, choosing instead to raise regulatory roadblocks that will significantly alter the health care of millions of Americans.
And we don't know what small businesses will do now that a highly touted tax credit has proven to be a failure. A