Health Care Experts Blog

Contributor

Paul Fronstin

Biography provided by participant

Paul Fronstin is a senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to original public policy research and education on economic security and employee benefits. He is also Director of the Institute's Health Research and Education Program. Dr. Fronstin's research interests include trends in employment-based health benefits, consumer-driven health benefits, the uninsured, retiree health benefits, employee benefits and taxation, and public opinion about health care. He currently serves on the steering committee for the Emeriti Retirement Health Program. In 2001, Dr. Fronstin served on the Institute of Medicine Subcommittee on the Status of the Uninsured. Dr. Fronstin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Binghamton and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Miami. He has been with EBRI since 1993.

Recent Responses

May 24, 2010 08:43 AM

In 2001, a handful of employers started offering health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)—a then-new type of health plan known as a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP). Ultimately, HRAs paved the way for health savings accounts (HSAs). Initially, projections for growth in HRAs and HSA-eligible plans were strong. Predictions for strong growth in CDHPs continued. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department predicted that 25–30 million people would be covered by an HSA-eligible plan and would have an account by 2010 (See www.treas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/pdf/fact-sheet-dramatic-growth.pdf, last accessed May 2010). Similarly, Forrester Research predicted that CDHP enrollment could account for 19 percent of the market in 2009 and 24 percent by 2010, or about 42 million people (See Inside Consumer-Directed Care (Nov. 4, 2005). And Blue Cross Blue Shield reported that 84 percent in 2005 and 90 percent in 2006 of employers pl

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January 11, 2010 08:51 AM

­With Congress back in town for the new year, the Democratic majority has entered the endgame in resolving differences between the House- and Senate-passed versions of health reform. There are a number of differences to be reconciled, including how to pay for the overhaul. A major portion of the financing in the House bill would come from a surtax on the wealthy. In the Senate, an excise tax would be levied on high-cost health coverage (so-called “Cadillac plans”). At a minimum, the House is looking to raise the thresholds in the Senate bill to some amount above $8,500 for single coverage and $23,000 for family coverage. While any excise taxes would be paid directly by a combination of health plans and plan administrators, the expectation is that these taxes will be passed down to the families covered by these plans. Raising the thresholds would reduce the number of people affected by the excise tax, but future health inflation could push more into its clutches. Politically, a surtax does not likely conflict with campaign promises, an excise tax on hi

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