TGIF

The Congressional Budget Office scored the President’s FY 2015 budget proposal yesterday. The scoring for the President’s / OPM’s legislative proposals for the FEHBP are found on page 3 of this CBO link.

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that some doctors and patients are feuding over what constitutes “free” preventive care for Affordable Care Act purposes. The FEHBlog certainly sides with the doctors because of course there really is no such thing as a free lunch. In any event, the FEHBlog got a kick out of this paragraph from the article:

Insurers also are trying to educate plan members. UnitedHealth Group Inc. website features a jovial professor playing a game of “Preventive or Not Preventive?” to help explain the distinctions. (A routine mammogram? Preventive. A follow-up six months later to check on a suspicious finding? Not preventive.)

Ihealthbeat reports that the recently formed (?) Coalition for ICD-10 is urging the HHS Secretary to set a new ICD-10 compliance date of October 1, 2015. The FEHBlog thinks that a calendar year switch January 1, 2016, would make more sense. But he certainly appreciates the reasons for the Coalition’s evident frustration.

Business Insurance reports that the Mercer consulting firm has projected the 2015 dollar amounts applicable to high deductible health plans and health savings accounts as follows:

Under an employer-sponsored HDHP, minimum annual deductibles will be set at $1,300 for single-coverage plans and $2,600 for family plans, while employee out-of-pocket costs will be capped at $6,450 for single-coverage plans and $12,900 for family coverage, according to Mercer’s report. Additionally, Mercer’s report projects tax-deductible contributions to employees’ HSAs will be limited to $3,350 for employee-only plans and $6,650 for family plans.

The Internal Revenue Service will set the actual 2015 dollar amounts next month. The IRS informally has said that high deductible plans must use the lower of the IRS out of pocket maximum and the HHS out of pocket maximum under the ACA for 2015 and future years. The IRS response to a question actually posed by the FEHBlog (who is an ABA member) may be found on page 2 of the linked document.

Finally, and appropriately for Easter / Passover weekend, Joe Davidson from the Washington Post has a feel good story about FEHB coverage in today’s paper. Have a pleasant weekend.

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