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myWellness Choices 2014 – Making Sense of Healthcare Terms

2015 Annual Enrollment opens October 22 and runs through November 12. During this once a year myChoices window, you’ll want to take the time to understand your healthcare plans and how they work. Being an educated consumer means getting familiar with some basic terms and definitions.

In order to make good benefit decisions for you and your family, you will need to understand some basic healthcare terminology. For example, the Medical Plan Coverage Comparison Tool allows you to see a side by side review of the medical plans. You cannot make a good choice without first understanding terms such as deductible: the amount you pay for services before cost sharing begins, co-insurance: the percent of a medical bill that you pay after the deductible is met, copay: the flat dollar amount you pay for certain services, out-of-pocket maximum: the limit of what you will have to pay for your medical care within a given year.

New in 2015, prescription drug costs will count toward a separate pharmacy out-of-pocket maximum. There is now an annual limit on how much you contribute to your pharmacy expenses, and just like your medical expenses, for JHU it is $2,000 per person up to a maximum of $6,000 for the family. Once you meet this maximum, eligible pharmacy expenses are covered 100% through the end of the plan year.

Do you know what a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is? Flexible Spending Accounts help you save money by allowing you to deduct tax-free dollars from your pay to cover certain healthcare expenses you incur during the year. The money you put in a Health Care FSA is not taxed, thereby stretching the dollars you have for you and your dependent’s healthcare. New for 2015, up to $500 of unused 2014 Health Care FSA funds can be rolled over into the new year’s flexible spending account.

App of the Month:
WageWorks administers the university’s Flexible Spending Accounts. Check out this app to see how quick and easy FSA reimbursement works. EZ Receipts

Web Widget of the Month:
Be an educated consumer and make good choices for the new year. Get familiar with some basic healthcare terms and definitions. Do you know the difference between generic, formulary brand and non-formulary brand prescriptions? Test your healthcare fluency with our widget Talk the Talk

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