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Archives for: August 2012

08/31/12

  05:16:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 190 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Investigation Finds Better Health Care With Low-Cost Docs

A saavy consumer knows that “expensive” doesn’t necessarily equal “better". And a new Consumer Reports review confirms that goes for health care as well. As WebMD reports, “Independent investigators compared quality and… more »
  04:57:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 185 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Prescription-free Online Viagra Mostly Fake, Study Finds

For those men touchy about the subject of sexual dysfunction, the ability to buy Viagra online without a doctor’s prescription is likely an appealing prospect. But a new study warns would-be customers against the idea. According to MedPage Today,… more »
  04:16:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Tablet Computers At Bedtime Can Wreck Sleep

If dozing off to the glow of your iPad has become a nightly ritual, you may want to rethink the habit. According to a new study, the bright light emitted from tablet computers may mess up your sleep patterns. WebMD reports that when a tablet sits close… more »

08/30/12

  05:15:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

New Cardio Test Helps Physicians Determine Best Solution

WebMD reports on a new test that measures blood flow through clogged arteries. Called fractional flow reserve (FFR), the technique could potentially help physicians determine if heart patients need angioplasty and stenting to open clogged heart… more »
  01:30:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 251 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Ryan Bashes Health Care Reform Law During RNC Speech

With other issues grabbing the headlines in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention, health care reform got lost in the shuffle. But vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) put it back in the spotlight during his RNC speech.… more »
  01:09:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Minding Calories Won't Increase Lifespan But May Improve Health

If you consume fewer calories in hopes of living longer, a new study won’t make your day. But it may offer enough good news to encourage you to say the course, the Los Angeles Times reports. Following earlier studies which showed that rats and… more »

08/29/12

  05:54:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study: Emphasis On PSA Tests Have Increased Cancer Survival

Following a recommendation earlier this year by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that doctors abandon prostate cancer screenings for most male adults, defenders of the test have voiced their disagreement. And last week, a new study provided them… more »
  04:57:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

FDA Approves HIV Drug For Daily Use

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a once-a-day pill to treat the virus that causes AIDS, according to AFP (via Yahoo! Health). The new pill, Stribild, is actually a combination of the previously approved drug Truvada and two new ones,… more »

08/28/12

  05:10:19 pm, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

ACA Offers Few Free Preventive Services For Men

Michelle Andrews looks at the gender benefit gap in the Affordable Care Act. Why does the law greatly expand women’s access to free preventive services – particularly, for sexual and reproductive health – while giving men little by… more »
  12:37:26 pm, by MedBen5   , 192 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Midlife Fitness Reduces Risk Of Chronic Disease In Old Age

Keeping fit at midlife may not better your odds of living much longer, but it will increase your chances of avoiding chronic disease, new research suggests. According to the Los Angeles Times, a study of 18,670 men and women spanning from 1984 to 2010… more »

08/24/12

  05:26:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 612 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

MedBen Compliance Experts Examine Health Care Reform At Seminar

Employers and brokers filled the Morrow Conference Center for MedBen’s Health Care Reform Seminar on August 23. Entitled “Upward and Onward", the event focused on what businesses can expect from Affordable Care Act provisions already started… more »
  04:45:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 341 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Candidates' Medicare Plans Fuel Election Year Debate

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Republican Vice Presidential candidate, has a plan to restructure Medicare – and it’s come under criticism from Democrats. The scenario mirrors President Obama’s changes to Medicare under the Affordable Care… more »
  04:11:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 259 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

West Nile Virus Outbreak Biggest In Over A Decade

The animal and insect kingdoms have kept the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention busy as of late. Earlier this month, the government agency reported on a new strain of “swine” flu, spread from the pigs to humans. And this… more »

08/23/12

  04:58:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

Fortysomethings May Spend $1.7 Million On Retirement Health Care Costs

Sobering numbers for anyone currently saving for their golden years: Health care consulting firm HVS Financials estimates that a healthy moderate-income couple of 45-year-olds can expect to spend $1.7 million on health care over their retirement years.… more »
  03:22:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 186 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Over Half Of States Have Accepted Insurance Exchange Grants

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that nine additional states have been given grants to develop health insurance exchanges, The Hill’s Healthwatch blog reports. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland,… more »

08/22/12

  05:36:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 185 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Over 40% Of Adults Favor Specialists For General Health Care

Regular checkups from your family doctor are a key to maintaining good health. But a new study reveals that many patients are bypassing general practitioners for specialty care. According to Reuters Health, researchers found 41% of adults in the U.S.… more »
  05:13:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 269 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

O'Donnell's Heart Scare Spotlights Need To Know Symptoms

Rosie O’Donnell’s recent health scare has brought the subject of women and heart attacks into the news. The 50-year-old comedienne and former talk show host revealed earlier this week that she underwent artery-opening angioplasty when tests… more »

08/21/12

  05:31:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Healthy Teeth Good For The Brain, Study Finds

Need another reason to practice good oral hygiene? Okay, here’s one – a new study suggests that people with healthy teeth and gums have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life. According to Reuters Health (via the Chicago… more »
  12:59:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 229 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Romney's VP Pick Favors Tax Credits For Health Coverage

Adding Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket did more for Mitt Romney than bolster his support in a political swing state – it also provides him with a ready-made proposal that would shake up the health care… more »
  10:40:34 am, by MedBen5   , 194 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Government Panel Expected To Recommend Regular HIV Tests

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force will likely recommend the addition of HIV screening to a routine patient checkup, Reuters reports. Currently, the government health panel leaves the decision to test for the presence of the virus up to doctors.… more »

08/17/12

  11:30:13 am, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

A Daily Aspirin May Help Prevent Cancer, Recent Studies Find

Depending on which scientist you talk to, aspirin is either a versatile wellness aid or an overrated pill best left to relieve minor aches and pains. The latest study on the effects of the drug suggests that its benefits may include helping to ward off… more »

08/16/12

  09:31:19 am, by MedBen5   , 162 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Obesity A Crisis In All 50 States

No matter what state you venture into, you’re going to run into a lot of obese people. That’s the finding in a new report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Mississippi and Louisiana, over one-third of the population are… more »

08/15/12

  12:02:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Reform Law Will Create "Two-Tier" Health Care System

Last week on this blog, we highlighted a New York Times story that discusses an unavoidable downside of the health care reform law: a shortage of doctors, resulting in longer wait times. Taking this inevitability one step further, John C. Goodman,… more »
  11:07:31 am, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Task Force Doesn't Support Regular Hearing Tests For Older Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has declined to recommend hearing tests for older adults without symptoms of hearing loss, The New York Times reports. “We just don’t have enough evidence to show there would be a benefit,” said Dr. Albert Siu, a… more »

08/14/12

  05:07:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Interpretation Of Health Care Provision Raises Concerns

An Internal Revenue Service interpretation of the Affordable Care Act could make health care coverage subsidies unavailable to millions of lower-income Americans, The New York Times reports: “Under the law, most Americans will be required to have… more »
  04:19:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Many Drugs Prescribed For "Off-Label" Use, Study Reveals

According to HealthDay News (via MedicineNet.com), recent research shows that many patients are unknowingly taking “off-label” drugs – medications prescribed to treat illnesses other than which they were approved by the Food and Drug… more »

08/13/12

  05:13:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 130 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Tell IRS To Lose FSA "Use It Or Lose It"

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has asked for comments on eliminating the “use it or lose it” rule for Flexible Spending Plans. We need your help telling the IRS why the forfeiture rule is burdensome, outdated and needs to be modified. MedBen has… more »
  01:27:02 pm, by MedBen5   , 184 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Most Employers Anticipate Higher Costs From Health Care Law

Most businesses aren’t buying the claims that the Affordable Care Act will reduce health care costs. A new survey by the Mercer consulting firm found that 61% of employers expect to pay more for their group health coverage – and 1 in 5… more »
  01:07:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 199 words,  
Categories: News

Truthfully Speaking, Telling Lies Can Hurt Health

No kidding: Telling the truth improves your physical and mental health, a new study suggests. According to USA Today, researchers monitored 110 adults for 10 weeks. Half the participants were told to refrain from telling lies for any reason; the other… more »

08/09/12

  05:03:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 213 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Got Insomnia? Skip The Sleeping Pills, Expert Says

If you’ve got insomnia, better you read a book than reach for a pill, suggests sleep expert Leon Lack of Flinders University. According to Medical Xpress, Lack said that “hypnotic drugs” may provide short-term relief, but in the long… more »
  04:40:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 172 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CBO: 30 Million Will Remain Uninsured When ACA Rules Are In Place

Nobody ever promised that the Affordable Care Act would single-handedly solve all that ails health care (not that we recall, anyhow). But a new Congressional Budget Office report suggests that even when the law’s provisions are in place, we will… more »
  04:13:42 pm, by MedBen5   , 177 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

More Americans Walking -- Just Not As Long

More Americans are walking around, but not for nearly as long as they should, according to the results of a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA Today reports that about 62% of adults in 2010 said they took at least one… more »

08/07/12

  05:24:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 191 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

With States Passing On Exchanges, Federal Government Faces Challenge

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, President Obama and lawmakers took it for granted that every state would willingly establish its own health insurance exchange. A misguided assumption, to put it mildly. According to The New York… more »
  12:30:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 172 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

New Swine Flu Strain Affects Fairgoers

While far from an epidemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking a new strain of “swine” flu seriously. HealthDay News reports that the H3H2 strain has thus far only been spread from pigs-to-humans, rather than… more »
  12:00:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 201 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Faster Lab Test Results Require Professional Follow-up

Kevin Pho, a primary care physician and blogger – and whose KevinMD.com website we frequently highlight here – recently wrote a column for USA Today regarding patient access to lab test results. He observes that while having to wait days or… more »

08/06/12

  05:15:15 pm, by MedBen5   , 596 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

SBC Requirements for HRAs

Several months ago, this blog examined what types of health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are excepted from Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We now turn our spotlight on health… more »
  12:38:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 128 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Approves Generic Versions Of Singulair

Singulair users can expect to pay less for their prescriptions soon. WebMD reports that the Food and Drug Administration has given 10 generic drugmakers approval to begin making generic versions of the popular asthma and allergy drug. Formally known as… more »
  11:17:24 am, by MedBen5   , 202 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Doctor Shortage An Inevitable Result Of Reform Law

Whatever your feelings about the Affordable Care Act – whether it will benefit health care or hinder it, save the U.S. money or further strain the budget – there is one unavoidable outcome to providing coverage to tens of millions of… more »
  10:35:20 am, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study: U.S. Adults' Perception Of Their Weight Ignores Reality

Many Americans live in denial regarding their excess weight, reveals a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. According to HealthDay News, the researchers are concerned about the national health… more »

08/03/12

  04:32:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 190 words,  
Categories: Announcements

Kirk Joins MedBen Sales Team

MedBen is pleased to announce the addition of Lindsay Kirk to the MedBen Sales and Marketing team. In her role as Regional Sales Manager, Kirk will serve current and prospective MedBen clients in Northern and Central Ohio. Kirk joined MedBen in 2011 as… more »
  03:59:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 158 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Survey: 9% Of Employers Expect To Drop Coverage Under ACA

While most businesses will continue to offer group health plans to their employees, about 9% expect to drop their coverage in the next 1-3 years, according to a recent survey by the consulting company Deloitte. This is slightly higher than the… more »
  01:09:23 pm, by MedBen5   , 181 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Generics Saved U.S. Nearly $200 Billion Last Year

Generic drugmakers are basking in the glow of good news: A new report from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association states that the use of generics over brand-name drugs reduced U.S. drug spending by $193 billion in 2011 and more than $1 trillion over the… more »
  12:25:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 187 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Almost Half Of U.S. Adults At Risk For Heart Disease

HealthDay News reports that nearly half of American adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and smoking. The U.S. Centers for… more »

08/02/12

  05:19:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 547 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Changes to Women's Preventive Services Take Effect

On August 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted women’s preventive health care services guidelines developed by the Institute of Medicine. The services listed in these guidelines are added to the required covered preventive… more »
  04:50:53 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Sports Drinks Not The Best Cure For Olympic-Sized Thirst, Studies Say

Has watching the Olympics motivated you to exercise more? If so, it’s not surprising – two weeks of morning-to-night competition brings out the superjock in some individuals. And just like the Olympic athletes, many people fuel their… more »