Category Archives: by Zahoor Elahi

Achieve breakthrough cost savings: Five first steps

By:  Zahoor Elahi, Senior Vice President, Strategic Product Management, Optum This is the final blog of our eight part series “Bending the Cost Curve with Comprehensive Sourcing.” Once you’ve considered how comprehensive sourcing can maximize cost savings beyond traditional models, what do you do next? It’s time to make a five-point readiness plan based on […]
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Enabling success: The importance of IT infrastructure

By: Zahoor Elahi, Senior Vice President, Strategic Product Management, Optum This is the 3rd blog of our eight part series “Bending the Cost Curve with Comprehensive Sourcing.” What are payer stakeholders focusing on to achieve significant cost savings? The Everest research identified several imperatives, which likely resonate with your executive leadership team: Focus on cost […]
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How can you help your employees do more with their HSAs?

In previous blog posts I’ve introduced you to our proprietary 5 Stages of Health Saving and Spending model that identifies where employees are in their journeys with HSAs. Depending on an employee’s level of engagement, they may be getting started with a health savings account (HSA) in the “Decide” stage, or they may be very […]
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Five things every employer should know about HRAs and HSAs

You may or may not be familiar with health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). And although they sound similar and both allow for tax-free reimbursement of qualified medical expenses, they are very different when you look at them closely. Here are the differences between and HSA and HRA. Does the account need […]
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How engaged are your employees with their HSAs? Let’s find out.

Offering a qualifying high deductible health plan compatible with a health savings account (HSA) offers many benefits to your employees. But there’s a process to making the most of the health account. It starts with deciding to open an HSA and progresses with contributions and investing in mutual funds * for the long term. The […]
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Tell your employees: it’s not too late to maximize the HSA contribution

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s a good time to remind employees to maximize their health savings account (HSA) contribution to leverage the account’s tax benefit. Under-contributing to an HSA is a common health benefits mistake employees make and one that can be avoided. The IRS sets the guidelines for how much employees can contribute […]
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The HSA as a retirement planning tool?

You know that the health savings account (HSA) that accompanies your employees’ high deductible health plan can help cover qualified out-of-pocket medical costs. But did you know that the HSA also can be used as a retirement vehicle? It’s true. In fact, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute a person contributing for 40 years […]
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Research shows health care costs are slowing. Will the trend continue?

There’s good news on the health insurance cost front: According to a recently released employer health benefits survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, health costs for employers increased only 3 percent last year. And it’s the second straight year the growth rate has slowed, according to Kaiser. Get the full story in this article that […]
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Paying and saving for health care: How many steps are there?

If you had to guess, how many stages do you think your employees go through when paying and saving for their health care? Here’s a clue: The process is more complicated than simply “paying” and “saving.” According to Optum research of more than one million consumers and in-depth analysis of our account holder experience, your […]
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