Mid-week Miscellany

  • Health savings accounts have been coming under fire this week. The Washington Post ran a story on Sunday about how “Health Savings Accounts Make Sense if You’re Physically and Fiscally Fit.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a report titled “Health Savings Plans Begin to Falter.” (subscription required — abbreviated AP report available here. The WSJ report noted that “In the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which has offered the plans for several years, only about 50,000 of its eight million members were enrolled in them in 2006, according to industry estimates.”
  • Business Insurance reports today that the ERISA Industry Council proposed a new platform for health insurance and retirement coverage similar to the FEHBP. According to this trade association of large employers, ‘Health care coverage and retirement plans for American workers should be delivered by competing third-party benefit administrators such as banks, investment companies and insurers.”
  • HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt announced his plan to convert the American Health Information Community from a federal advisory committee to an independent, private-sector health Information Technology (IT) leadership entity next year.