Vanderbilt University is committed to providing high-quality benefits to serve the diverse and changing needs of faculty and staff. To help faculty and staff make the best decision for themselves and their families, the 2019 health plan options and changes are outlined below. At the end of this article, links to additional tools and information, as well as dates and locations for benefits discussion forums, are provided.

That's the market that was most in need of reform before the Affordable Care Act, and it's the market segment that was most heavily affected by the ACA (the small group health insurance market also saw some significant reforms, but not as much as the individual market). Not surprisingly, it's also been the market that has seen the most change over the last several years and has been in the spotlight each year when rate changes are announced.

Then you will want to consider either an ACA plan, HSA 5000, Premier Plans or the AlieraCare option since these options include FULL ACA-required preventive care with ZERO out of pocket costs to members. But, we advise against purchasing a plan solely based on this offering since the largest risk of loss with healthcare is not routine preventive care but rather extended hospitalization.
That's all great news. But the average benchmark premium is decreasing by quite a bit more than the average overall premium. That means subsidy amounts will fall by more than the average premium amounts, and people who don't shop carefully during open enrollment could find that their coverage, after their subsidy is applied, is more expensive in 2019 than it was in 2018. 
You can always visit to browse plans and rates, and to get a general idea of how much financial assistance you’d get if you were to enroll. They let you do this by answering a brief series of questions — all without creating an account or providing any personal information. The prices shown won’t account for tobacco use, which will be factored into the premium when you enroll.
The Commonwealth Fund, in its annual survey, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall", compares the performance of the health care systems in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the U.S. Its 2007 study found that, although the U.S. system is the most expensive, it consistently under-performs compared to the other countries.[6] One difference between the U.S. and the other countries in the study is that the U.S. is the only country without universal health insurance coverage.
The Select PPO may be paired with a health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that can be used for qualified medical expenses during the plan year. During Open Enrollment, the employee chooses an amount to contribute in 2019 and then makes voluntary pre-tax contributions up to annual IRS limits. The funds in a health care Flexible Spending Account do not roll over from year to year; if funds are not used, they are forfeited. Vanderbilt does not contribute to health care FSA accounts.
Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an evidence-based method that combines acupressure with elements drawn from cognitive and exposure therapies. The approach has been validated in more than 100 clinical trials. Its efficacy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been investigated in a variety of demographic groups including war veterans, victims of sexual violence, the spouses of PTSD sufferers, motor accident survivors, prisoners, hospital patients, adolescents, and survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. Meta-analyses of EFT for anxiety, depression, and PTSD indicate treatment effects that exceed those of both psychopharmacology and conventional psychotherapy. Studies of EFT in the treatment of PTSD show that (a) time frames for successful treatment generally range from four to 10 sessions; (b) group therapy sessions are effective; (c) comorbid conditions such as anxiety and depression improve simultaneously; (d) the risk of adverse events is low; (e) treatment produces physiological as well as psychological improvements; (f) patient gains persist over time; (g) the approach is cost-effective; (h) biomarkers such as stress hormones and genes are regulated; and (i) the method can be adapted to online and telemedicine applications. This paper recommends guidelines for the use of EFT in treating PTSD derived from the literature and a detailed practitioner survey. It has been reviewed by the major institutions providing training or supporting research in the method. The guidelines recommend a stepped-care model, with five treatment sessions for subclinical PTSD, 10 sessions for PTSD, and escalation to intensive psychotherapy or psychopharmacology or both for nonresponsive patients and those with developmental trauma. Group therapy, social support, apps, and online and telemedicine methods also contribute to a successful treatment plan. Full article
The health care industry incorporates several sectors that are dedicated to providing health care services and products. As a basic framework for defining the sector, the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification categorizes health care as generally consisting of hospital activities, medical and dental practice activities, and "other human health activities." The last class involves activities of, or under the supervision of, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, scientific or diagnostic laboratories, pathology clinics, residential health facilities, patient advocates[18] or other allied health professions.
I write about the financial challenges of paying for college, managing higher-education debt, and the steep cost of healthcare. I want to help people take control of their finances so that they can enjoy the other parts of their life. What I enjoy: running with friends, kayaking with my husband, and playing Legos with my son. Follow me on Twitter (@RosatoDonna).

To clarify a small point, some high deductible (as high as $10,000 for family) plans that would be considered by many as “catastrophic plans” have been available AND Obamacare compliant. The compliance rules relate to the out of pocket maximum and other benefits rather than the deductible per se. furthermore, these plans are not necessarily cheap at all as many will tell you. I would not count on a huge break/savings once the Obamacare rules for Heath plans are no longer in play.

When the cost of the benchmark plan in a given area increases, premium subsidies in that area have to increase as well in order to keep the net premiums at an affordable level. But when the cost of the benchmark plan decreases, premium subsidies decrease too, since the subsidy doesn't have to be as large in order to get the benchmark plan's net premium down to an affordable level.

Background: Raising awareness of holistic health and safety among older adults is critical to enhancing their wellbeing in many cases, improving health outcomes and motivating positive behavioral changes. Age-Tastic! is a comprehensive health and safety promotion intervention that uses the concept of a competitive board game to entice older adults to participate and stay engaged. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of Age-Tastic! on the level of awareness, health literacy, self-efficacy and positive behavioral change among the participants. Methods: A randomized control trial was conducted with 98 older adults assigned to an experimental and control group. Interviews were conducted at baseline, right after the eight-week intervention ended and again eight weeks after the end of the intervention. Results: The results showed significant increases among experimental group participants in knowledge about health, self-efficacy and behavioral change in the areas of nutrition, financial exploitation, health literacy and emotional well-being. Discussion: Implications for replication and engagement are discussed. Full article

But on the other hand, people who do that may find themselves between a rock and a hard place if they do end up getting seriously injured or ill, as there are numerous drawbacks to the less-regulated plans. In particular, the ACA's essential health benefits don't have to be covered, which means there could be gaping holes in the coverage (things like prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health care, etc. might not be covered at all, depending on the plan).
Given the premium increases  ahead for 2019, it’s essential for anyone who is eligible for premium tax credits – or who might be eligible with an income fluctuation later in the year – to enroll through the exchange if and when they have a special enrollment period. Don’t sign up for an off-exchange plan and miss out on the possibility of much more affordable premiums via a tax credit.