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May 20, 2019

Wellness and Healthcare cost progress is noted…

By taking steps to improve health and invest the savings, working Americans have an opportunity to significantly increase longevity and generate additional retirement savings.
This past week brought some interesting news items including how strategy initiatives for health care reform centered on curbing high drug prices, while creating competition and price transparency as free market levers to lower overall costs are being pursued for our benefit.  Here are a few progress reports… 

  • It was announced this week that new HHS regs will soon require up-front disclosure of prices patients will pay for treatment and rates insurers negotiate with providers. The HHS administration also want Medical Providers to give patients the total price of care before they get services and treatment whether you are in the network or not.  The idea is – transparency will encourage competition and a competitive pricing environment means lower consumer costs.  
  • Retirement healthcare cost inflation is projected to rise by 4.22% for the foreseeable future, down from 5.47% in the 2017 Data Report. A slowdown in the growth rate of prescription drugs is the primary reason for this decrease.  
  • Last week the White House announced it is leading a “surprise health care bills’ legislative push with Senators from both parties.  The legislation will no longer allow the Emergency Room Doctor/Anesthesiologist to bill you at “out of network” rates and “In network” costs would be the new max charge. 
  • Prescription ads on TV now must include the price of the drug. Drug cost transparency has been a new major regulatory push and it is working (see note 2).