Jay Hancock

About the Author

Jay Hancock is a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, an editorially-independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. He previously reported for the The Baltimore Sun, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, and the Daily Press of Newport News. Contact him at jhancock@lkff.org.

High-Deductible Health Plans: Savings Now, But Problems For Workers Later?

High deductible health plan

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn’t pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? If so, you or your employees are foot soldiers who have been drafted in the war against high health costs. Companies that switch workers into high-deductible plans can reap enormous savings, consultants will tell…

Small Businesses Drop Health Coverage Due to Obamacare Alternatives

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For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Health-law subsidies for workers to buy their own coverage combined with years of rising costs in…

Feds Warn Employers Not to Dump Sick Workers From Health Plans

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As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama Administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere. Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued this month….

Big Changes For Workplace Health Plans: 6 Pitfalls to Watch For in 2015

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You don’t get a pass this year on big health insurance decisions because you and your employees are not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace. Employer medical plans — where most working-age folks get coverage — are changing too. Rising costs, a looming tax on rich benefit packages and the idea that…

Growing Debate Over Employer Health Plans With No Hospital Benefits

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Lance Shnider is confident Obamacare regulators knew exactly what they were doing when they created an online calculator that gives a green light to new employer coverage without hospital benefits. “There’s not a glitch in this system,” said Shnider, president of Voluntary Benefits Agency, a Ohio firm working with some 100 employers to…

Software Flaw Lets Employers Offer Health Plans Without Hospital Benefits

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A flaw in the federal calculator for certifying that insurance meets the health law’s toughest standard is leading dozens of large employers to offer plans that lack basic benefits such as hospitalization coverage, according to brokers and consultants. The calculator appears to allow companies enrolling workers for 2015 to offer inexpensive, substandard medical…

Some 16% of Large Employers Plan to Still Offer “Skinny” Health Plans

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Nearly one company in six in a new survey from a major employer group plans to offer health coverage that doesn’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for value and affordability. Many thought such low-benefit “skinny plans” would be history once the health law was fully implemented this year. Instead, 16 percent of…

Report Says Health Care Costs Expected to Accelerate New Year

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Health costs will accelerate next year, but changes in how people buy care will help keep them from attaining the speed of several years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers says in a new report. The prediction, based on interviews and modeling, splits the difference between hopes that costs will stay tame and fears that they’re off…

Can Employers Dump Workers To Health Exchange?

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Is it possible to expand Americans’ health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act without sabotaging employer coverage? The Obama administration is still working to get the balance right. The latest tweak from the Internal Revenue Service essentially prohibits employers from giving workers tax-free dollars to buy policies in the online public marketplaces…

Employers May Move Workers With High Medical Costs to Exchanges

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Can corporations shift workers with high medical costs from the company health plan into online insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act? Some employers are considering it, say benefits consultants. “It’s all over the marketplace,” said Todd Yates, a managing partner at Hill, Chesson & Woody, a North Carolina benefits consulting firm….