Tuesday’s Tidbits

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) finalized a regulation today that permits same sex domestic partners to participate in the employee pay all Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. The rule change takes effect on July 1, 2010. OPM’s instructions to payroll offices on this change is available here.

The Washington Post reported on the personnel who are filling the key slots in the new Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. The Office is responsible for implementing many of PPACA’s immediate reforms, such as the high risk pool.  The new director Jay Angoff, according to the Post, “was most recently head of the insurance litigation department, which sues insurers on behalf of consumers, for the Washington-based law firm Mehri & Skalet.”

EBRI published a report on consumer driven health plans over the period 2006 – 2009. Here are a few of the key findings:

ASSET LEVELS GROWING: In 2009, there was $7.1 billion in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), which include health savings accounts (or HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (or HRAs), spread across 5 million accounts. This is up from 2006, when there were 1.2 million accounts with $835.4 million in assets, and 2008, when 4.2 million accounts held $5.7 billion in assets.
AVERAGE ACCOUNT BALANCE LEVELING OFF: Increases in average account balances appear to have leveled off. In 2006, account balances averaged $696. They increased to $1,320 in 2007, a 90 percent increase. Account balances averaged $1,356 in 2008 and $1,419 in 2009, 3 percent and 5 percent increases, respectively.
TYPICAL ENROLLEE: The typical CDHP enrollee was more likely than traditional plan enrollees to be young, unmarried, higher-income, educated, and exhibit healthy behavior. No differences were found between CDHPs enrollees and traditional plan enrollees with respect to gender, race, and presence of children.