For quite a few years, many conservatives have argued that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) should play a key role in market-oriented health reform. HSAs, the advocates say, enable people to have financial “skin in the game” and have the potential to encourage them to shop more smartly for health care services, bringing down spending. The counterargument is that they encouraged people to stint on health care, particularly preventive care. Continue reading
Health journalists will be able to get their hands on a traditionally strong reference book for free. The first complete update of EBRI’s Fundamentals of Employee Benefit Programs since 1997 is just out. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is a nonadvocacy research institute that does not take policy positions and does not lobby.
According to a press release (PDF), the new edition of the nearly 600-page book includes:
- An overview of employee benefits in the United States , including detailed chapters on Social Security and Medicare.
- Retirement benefits, covering defined benefit (pension) and defined contribution (401(k)-type) plans, individual retirement accounts, cash balance plans, and much more. An appendix explains the automatic enrollment provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the most important recent federal law affecting retirement plans.
- Health benefits, including chapters on drug, dental, and vision plans, retiree health benefits, and managing health care costs (among other topics).
- Other benefits, such as leave, workers’ compensation, and d omestic partner benefits.
- Public-sector benefits, covering both health and retirement benefits in the public sector, regulation of public-sector retirement plans, and benefit cost comparisons between state and local and private-sector employers.
To request a free copy of the book, contact Alicia Willis at EBRI, 202-659-0670, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.