How the 2016 Presidential Election Could Impact Healthcare

The 2016 presidential election could bring significant changes to the U.S. health care system. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both campaigned on promises to control health care spending and reduce out-of-pocket expenses for consumers. 
The chart below provides a brief overview of each candidate’s health care platform, so you can better understand how Clinton or Trump may affect the employee benefits landscape if elected into office.  

  © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

©2016 Zywave, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

 

 

Emergency Room or Urgent Care?

If you're faced with a sudden illness or injury, choosing where to seek medical attention can be crucial to your personal and financial well-being. Listed below is a guide to selecting the appropriate place of care. 

You should visit the Emergency Room (ER) for the following conditions:

  • Compound fractures 
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Deep knife or gunshot wounds
  • Serious head, neck or back injuries 
  • Seizures or lack of consciousness 
  • Signs of a heart attack or stroke 
  • Severe abdominal pain 
  • Poisoning

You should visit an Urgent Care Center for the following conditions: 

  • Sprains or strains
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Ear infections
  • Sore throat, fever or cough
  • Flu symptoms
  • Minor broken bones (toes, fingers, etc.)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or dehydration  
  • Diagnostic Services 

*Please note that emergency rooms are equipped to handle life-threatening injuries and other serious conditions. Although urgent care centers are usually more cost effective, they are not substitutes for emergency care. 

This is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. 

Significant Changes to Form 5500

On July 21, 2016, a proposed rule was published by federal regulators that seeks to modernize and improve the Form 5500 annual return/report that is filed by employee benefit plans. The changes are expected to apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. 

While the Form 5500 is periodically updated so that it stays current with legal and market developments, these proposed updates are significant because of their focus on group health plans. Significantly, the proposed rule would eliminate the current filing exemption for small group health plans and require group health plans to complete a new detailed schedule. 

In addition to these changes, the proposed changed would expand the Form 5500's financial and compliance reporting, analytics capability and service provider information. 

What Steps Should I Take?

Employers should monitor these proposed changes to the Form 5500 and consider how the changes would effect them if they are finalized. Employers with small group health plans that have been exempt from the Form 5500 filing requirement may wish to contact service providers to evaluate their options for Form 5500 filings. 

Exercising the Body and Brain

Studies show a strong relationship between a healthy body and a healthy brain. The brain has approximately 86 billion neurons designed to communicate to the rest of the body through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Studies show that deficiencies of two of these neurotransmitters (glutamate and gamma-amniobutyric, or GABA), can lead to mood disorders such as depression. However, regular exercise can increase the amounts of the two neurotransmitters, contributing to increased mental fitness. 

When you're stressed, your brain secretes cortisol. It is known as the "fight or fight" hormone. Exercise is a good way to expose your body to "controlled stress," which helps regulate your brain's response to unnecessary stress, keeping you calm. 

Your brain ages just like the rest of your body, but older adults who exercise have larger brain volumes than those who don't. Plus, the brain's hippocampus (which is responsible for memory and learning) is larger in those who are active.