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Archives for: September 2011

09/30/11

  06:03:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Expanded Preventive Services Still Vague On Details

The New York Times recently examined an imminent change to most health insurance plans: 100% coverage of an expanded list of preventive services. Many insurers, including MedBen, already cover in full a variety of wellness services for adults, children… more »
  12:54:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 220 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Popcorn Experiment Shows How Environment Affects Eating

A recent study demonstrates just how environment can influence bad eating habits. According to Medical Xpress, researchers went to movie theater and gave a group of patrons popcorn. Some got a just-popped bag, others got fresh popcorn, and a handful of… more »

09/29/11

  05:02:57 pm, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CDHPs Reduce Costs Even After Care Is Initiated

Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) have had a positive impact in how people approach health care spending, a new study suggests. Medical Xpress reports that patients covered under a high-deductible health plan with a health savings account (HSA) or… more »
  04:17:36 pm, by MedBen5   , 202 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

President Asks Supreme Court To Review Individual Mandate

Well, that didn’t take long. Just yesterday, we noted that the Obama administration deliberately missed a deadline to request the full panel of a U.S. Appeals Court review an earlier decision of three panel members on the constitutionality of the… more »
  03:12:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Get Aware About Prostate Cancer

Before we run out of days to mention it, we did want to bring to your attention that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, and second only to lung… more »

09/28/11

  04:59:15 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Federal Long-Term Care Program Put On Backburner

A long-term care insurance plan proposed under the Affordable Care Act may not come to fruition. The Associated Press reports that the Obama administration has indefinitely shelved the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program,… more »
  01:16:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 167 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Recommends Earlier Colon Cancer Screenings For Males

If a new study carries any weight, men may have to consider getting their first colonoscopy a little earlier. According to Bloomberg, researchers said that males are twice as likely have colon cancer and, as such, should get their initial screening for… more »
  12:40:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 216 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Inactivity The Latest Step In Deciding Individual Mandate's Constitutionality

More legal maneuverings – this time, by the Obama administration – as we head up to a likely Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. And this time, the only action taken was inaction. MedPage Today reports… more »

09/27/11

  05:50:13 pm, by MedBen5   , 157 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Ever Feel Like You Ate A Ton? You're Not Too Far Off

Would it surprise you to learn that you, the average American, eat nearly a ton a food every year? The Washington Post – courtesy of the Visual Economics creative team – offers a graphic breakdown of what we consume and how much. Of the… more »

09/23/11

  07:56:08 am, by MedBen5   , 439 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Federal Government Standardizes Summaries of Benefits

On August 22, 2011, the federal government issued proposed regulations describing the Uniform Summary of Coverage document mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The proposed regulations set forth the requirements for… more »

09/22/11

  05:28:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Employers Will Continue Offering Coverage 'Til 2014, Survey Says

Whatever its flaws, the Affordable Care Act has certainly stimulated job creation. Based on the number of studies we’ve seen that predict whether or not employers will drop insurance coverage, consulting firms must be pulling people off the street… more »
  05:22:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Wellness

Going Vegan Requires Attention To Nutrients

Bill Clinton’s recent announcement that he has gone vegan raised more than a few eyebrows. After all, the thinking went, how could a man whose name once conjured images of french fries and Chicken McNuggets possibly subsist on a diet of… more »

09/21/11

  09:19:23 am, by MedBen5   , 168 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Enrollment In State-Run Health Pools Outpaces Federal Numbers

A Government Accountability Office report released last month reveals a huge disparity in state and federal government’s ability to enroll people in high-risk health pools. The Hill website reports that as of April 30, the 27 states that operate… more »

09/20/11

  11:27:56 am, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: Announcements

Jobs Bill May Impact FSA Tax Exclusions

President Obama’s recent Jobs Creation Proposal has, as of this writing, yet to receive the customary going-over in Congress, so its outcome is still far from certain. But should the proposal get the green light, we wanted to alert you to one… more »
  11:21:01 am, by MedBen5   , 240 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Million Hearts Sets A Life-Saving Goal

NPR reports on a laudable effort by the federal government to prevent a million heart attacks between now and 2016. The campaign, called Million Hearts, will promote a variety of proven public health strategies to accomplish its objective. The campaign… more »

09/19/11

  04:27:23 pm, by MedBen5   , 343 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Health Plan Management

Family Doctor Say OTC Prescription Requirement Adds To Workload

Edward Pullen, MD is a family doctor with a busy practice. In January, the federal government made a change to federal spending accounts that made Dr. Pullen and other primary care physicians even busier: requiring a prescription for patients to buy… more »
  04:18:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 262 words,  
Categories: Wellness

No Cure For Cold, But You Can Lower The Odds Of Catching One

How does a cure for the common cold remain so elusive? Is it because there’s because there’s as many as 200 variants of rhinoviruses, the most common cause of colds? Or is it, perhaps, a giant conspiracy funded by the power double-ply facial… more »

09/16/11

  05:13:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 192 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Health Plan Management

Electronic Funds Transfers For Ohio Providers Starts Soon

Beginning October 1, MedBen will begin paying Ohio providers electronically for all claims submitted in the same manner. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) benefits both the employer and the physician by expediting the payment process while eliminating the… more »
  12:14:57 pm, by MedBen5   , 352 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Envisioning Health Care Reform's "Plan B"

As the issue of whether or not the federal government can require most Americans to buy health insurance methodically plods its way through the judicial system to (one assumes) The Supreme Court, economic think tanks are pondering another question: If… more »
  11:11:56 am, by MedBen5   , 259 words,  
Categories: Wellness

How To Have A Tanning Bed "Talk"

Now that the weather’s cooled a bit and the days are getting shorter, it’s time to have the talk with your pre-teen children. No, not that talk – we’re referring to the tanning bed talk. Dennis Hughes, MD, PhD, an assistant… more »

09/14/11

  05:43:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 317 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Even Small Wellness Incentives Can Make A Big Difference

CBS Money Watch relates four inspiring stories of how worksite wellness programs improved the health of their participants. We’ll share the first story here, and encourage you to read the other three at moneywatch.com: Steve Purkapile, Vice… more »
  05:17:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 238 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Medicaid Oversight Bodes Poorly For Health Care Reform

On his Health Policy Blog, John Goodman contemplates a Census Bureau statistic which estimates that one out of every three uninsured Americans is eligible to be covered under Medicaid and other public programs, but isn’t taking advantage of it.… more »
  04:00:55 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Consumers Uninformed About How Drug Approval Works

A new study suggests that the Food and Drug Administration needs to do a better job of teaching Americans about the drug approval process. The Pharmalot blog reports that 30% of consumers believe – incorrectly – that the FDA approves only… more »

09/13/11

  05:33:58 pm, by MedBen5   , 249 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Hospital Workers Frequently Patients As Well

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports that hospital workers get so caught up tending to the health of other people, they apparently tend to neglect their own. At least, that’s one way of looking at a new analysis by Thomson Reuters, which… more »
  04:58:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 230 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Poorly Phrased Reform Language May Jeopardize Subsidies

Investor’s Business Daily spotlights a quirk in the Affordable Care Act that has the potential to cause headaches for people who buy health insurance through a federally-run exchange. Beginning in 2014, individuals and families will be required… more »
  04:26:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 282 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Exercise An Effective Rx To Depression

Exercise isn’t just good for the body, it’s also good for the mind. And not just clearing one’s head or sparking creativity – regular workouts can help to ease depression. That’s the finding of Dr. Madhukar H. Trivedi, a… more »

09/12/11

  05:32:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 244 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Says Freebie Weight-Loss Program Could Save Billions

Is it possible that the government could pay for your Jenny Craig meals someday? Can’t say for certain, but a study of potential Medicare savings from the funding of weight-loss programs may inspire some enterprising Congressperson to push for it.… more »
  03:23:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Web Campaign Asks Consumers To "Care About Your Care"

Encouraging folks to take a more active role in their personal health care… what a concept! The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports that on a new effort to get Americans off the couch and to the doctor’s office. Called Care About Your… more »

09/09/11

  07:16:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 437 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

MedBen Roundtable Addresses Worksite Wellness Topics

A great turnout and informative and engaging guest speakers highlighted the MedBen Wellness Roundtable at the Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, Ohio on September 8. Norman Kato, MD, Rayvelle Stallings, MD and John Powers – all members of AWAC,… more »
  05:18:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 248 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Another Federal Court Gives A Thumbs-Up To Individual Mandate

Chalk up another win for the “pro-individual mandate” contingent – albeit a win that comes in an unexpected fashion. The Washington Post reports that a Virginia federal appeals court has thrown out a prominent case challenging the… more »
  04:48:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 324 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Lower Your Cholesterol In Just Six Weeks

For most people, bringing their cholesterol levels down really isn’t that difficult. WebMD offers 11 tips to reduce the presence of the artery-clogging substance in as little as six weeks. Here’s a summary: Set a target. People with a… more »

09/07/11

  04:30:01 pm, by MedBen5   , 262 words,  
Categories: Prescription

Should Regulators Require Comparative Drug Research?

An editorial on the BMJ (British Medical Journal) website argues that, for pharmaceutical companies to receive approval for new medications, they should be required to provide comparative research to existing therapies. Currently, UK – and, for… more »
  01:20:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Women Do Benefit From Daily Drink, Study Suggests

The phrase “do in moderation” may have been created with drinking in mind. Few substances straddle the line between beneficial and destructive as precariously as alcohol. WebMD reports on a new study that examines the beneficial aspects of… more »

09/06/11

  05:44:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Kids Benefit From Comprehensive Eye Exams

If you’re depending on a school vision screening to take care of your child’s eye care needs, you probably should rethink your strategy. On the Better Health Blog, optometrist Val Jones says that such screenings miss more than 75% of… more »
  01:18:43 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

A Principled Take On Health Care Reform

In an ongoing series for the KevinMD.com blog, orthopedic surgeon Mitchell Brooks, MD details his “Ten Principles for Healthcare Reform“. Some of his ideas, such as “changes should be made in small increments, easily understood by the… more »
  12:23:43 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

FDA To Propose Revamped Nutritional Labels

The U.S. government would like to give your groceries an extreme makeover. Okay, not too extreme… actually, it only wants to revise the nutrition facts label found on food packaging, so consumers are better equipped to eat healthier. The… more »

09/02/11

  05:58:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 248 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Health Plan Management

MedBen Closed For Holiday, But Online Services Available

MedBen’s home office will be closed on Monday, September 5 to observe the Labor Day holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 6. Just a reminder that even when we’re closed, you can still get online customer service 24/7… more »
  05:48:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 209 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Sugary Drinks A Mainstay Of Many People's Diets

Turns out Americans really enjoy their sweetened beverages. New research by Centers for Disease Control finds that half of the U.S. population age 2 and older have a sugary drink on any given day. WedMD Health News reports that men and boys drink an… more »

09/01/11

  03:53:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 209 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

"Authorized Generics" Benefit Consumers, FTC Says

You probably know that when the patent expires for a brand name drug, competing companies are free to produce generic versions with the same active ingredients. But in cases where a generic drugmaker successfully challenges a brand-name drug’s… more »
  12:57:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Potatoes May Help Reduce Blood Pressure, Study Suggests

Has this been a great week, or what? First we’re told that chocolate may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Now, we learn that potatoes may be good for the heart as well. Can T-bone steaks be next? (Well. probably not.) Lest we get too excited… more »