confusing cost of healthcare
Employee Benefits

Your 2018 Tax Filing — Easier Than Understanding a Health Claim!

Ed Oleksiak
Ed Oleksiak
Sr. Vice President, Employee Benefits

Tax filing is easier than filing a health claim? Yep! The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is expected to result in 90 percent of tax filers taking the standard deduction, thus eliminating the need for itemizing and resulting in filing a simplified one page tax return for 2018. Who would have ever thought we could say filing your tax return would be 100 times easier than understanding the cost of going to the doctor?!

There’s a movement in the Trump administration that’s trying to make more information available around the cost of healthcare. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule on March 4, 2019, aimed at implementing key provisions in Title IV of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) that are designed to advance interoperability; support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information; and address occurrences of information blocking.

That was a mouthful. So, in simpler terms the goal is to help fulfill an Executive Order (EO) to promote healthcare choice and competition across the United States. The EO states that government rules should improve access to (and improve the quality of) information Americans need to make informed healthcare decisions.

Specifically, the proposed rule goes after practices that block information from being provided to patients. Many of these activities focus on improving patient and healthcare provider access to electronic health information as well as promoting competition.

It also updates the electronic prescribing (e-Rx) SCRIPT standard, which would result in a new e-Rx standard eventually becoming the baseline for certification.

Healthcare is complicated, but then again, so was filing your taxes. Hopefully the administration will make some headway to improve information available to the healthcare consumers and move down a path to a 1040 short form like process for healthcare purchasing.

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