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Two trends are reported by economists who plot the nation’s Medicaid and Medicare programs.
These are lean times for many union pensions and their troubles are starting to affect many small businesses.
A continued focus in the CDH environment is on accountability in healthcare and making sure consumers are getting the best possible services for the money they pay.  As part of this accountability, a group that has monitored health maintenance organizations for a decade is seeking to rein in preferred provider networks and the 150 million Americans they serve.
The U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have issued guidance regarding how employers can rollover unspent funds in their employees' health Flexible Spending Arrangements (health FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), as permitted by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (Public Law No. 109-432). This law, enacted December 20, 2006, allows employers to amend their health FSAs or HRAs for a one-time rollover to an HSA by 2012.
Walk-in clinics are becoming readily available in grocery and discount stores across the United States.  For people who aren't insured or have high-deductible policies, the retail health clinics,  run by companies such as MinuteClinic, Take Care Health Systems and RediClinic, can offer significant savings. Many minor ailments are treated for $49 to $59, which can be significantly less than being seen at a local doctor’s office.
The nation’s “Blues” healthcare providers who serve one out of every three enrolled Americans have launched own bank to manage HSA accounts.
In a huge boost to FSA-HRA-HSAs, Evolution Benefit’s popular “Benny” card was selected by NASCO, a national accounts system for Blues plans which serves 10 million covered lives in 1,500 large state and local accounts, individual and small group accounts, national accounts, labor accounts, and the entire Federal Employee Program (FEP). It may be the biggest CDH card contract in history.
At first blush, Americans like President Bush’s proposal to radically change the healthcare insurance landscape.
President Bush will propose a tax deduction of $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for families regardless of whether they buy their own health insurance or receive medical coverage at work, according to published sources.
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 extended a little known tax break through 2007 for California ’s small businesses, their employees and the self-employed that participate in consumer directed healthcare through a Medical Savings Account (MSA).
With health-care costs emerging as one of voters' biggest domestic concerns, President Bush is considering promoting a tax-code change making it easier for people to buy health insurance for themselves in the open market, rather than relying on employers.
This article is based on material provided by Rick Knox, Vice President, Knox Associates

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