HSAs offer weak defense against double-digit premium spikes

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					Businesses sound alarm as feds raise red flags
Critics: Red Flag Rule will levy fines on firms that don’t play detective                                                          of identity theft. it requires many companies                                  cation [if they accept checks, for example], and
                                                                                                                                   to safeguard customers’                                                        then double-check to ensure the age reflected
             BY Martin C. daks                                   businesses still don’t know it exists.                            Social Security numbers                                                        on the iD matches up with the apparent age
SmAll BUSiNeSSeS thAt are careless with                               With health care reform and “everything                      and other sensitive data,                                                      of the customer,” said Gerri Burns, president
customer data could face big fines under a                       else that’s been going on, the Red Flags Rule                     but also goes further, forc-                                                   of iDT secure, a Sayreville company that pro-
controversial federal rule scheduled to take                     has slipped under the radar of many entre-                        ing firms to keep an eye                                                       vides identity theft prevention, mitigation and
effect June 1. Designed to force businesses to                   preneurs,” said Laurie ehlbeck, state director                    out for “suspicious activi-                                                    restoration services. “Business owners will also
help foil identity theft, the Federal trade Com-                 of the National Federation of independent                         ty” that could signal iden-                                                    have to be on the lookout for complaints from
mission’s Red Flags Rule could force many                        Business/New Jersey. “i’ve got it on my list of                   tity theft, according to the                                                   customers [about getting goods or services
businesses to turn detective — or risk fines of                  updates for our members.”                                         FtC website. Companies          Laurie Ehlbeck                                 they never ordered], or from law enforcement
up to $16,000 per day.                                                Red Flags is part of the 2003 Fair and                       that don’t comply face civil penalties.                                        authorities and others that could indicate that
     And although the rule has been on track                     Accurate Credit transactions Act, and was                               “the Red Flags Rule means that many                                      the personal information they store has been
for implementation for several years, many                       developed in response to increasing incidents                     businesses will have to ask for photo identifi-                                                     ➤➤ See RULE on page 9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HSAs offer weak

                                                                                                                                                                                                Christina Mazza
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  defense against
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  premium spikes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Employers expecting hike, even as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  high-deductible model takes hold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               BY Beth Fitzgerald
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  AmeRiCANS ARe PUttiNG millions of dollars
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  into health savings accounts, where they save
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  money tax free to spend on health care. But the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lower-cost, high-deductible health insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  plans that go along with hSAs now are getting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hit with double-digit premium increases, as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  medical costs and consumer health care use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  both continue to rise, experts said.
Description: David Oscar, benefit consultant at Altigro, in Fairfield, said more than 30 percent of his clients offer their employees HSA accounts. [...] recently, employers were paying lower premiums for the high- deductible health plans, then using the savings to contribute cash to the employee's HSA.
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