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Archives for: January 2013

01/31/13

  05:36:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 232 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Bigger Balances In Consumer-Driven Accounts, But Reform May Dilute The Gains

As the economy gradually improves, Americans are putting more money into health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). But as Employee Benefits News reports, the increases may be short-lived. Following stagnant or… more »

01/30/13

  05:40:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 249 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Adults Need More Vaccinations, CDC Report Says

Immunizations in the news, courtesy of Reuters Health: A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concludes that adult vaccinations should not be limited to the flu – immunizations to prevent prevent diseases… more »

01/29/13

  05:19:04 pm, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Should Insureds Pay More For Their Bad Habits?

The Associated Press’ Mike Stobbe examines the impact that smokers and overeaters have on national health care spending, and the pros and cons of penalizing them with higher out-of-pocket costs: “Annual health care costs are roughly $96… more »

01/28/13

  04:36:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 334 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Transitional Reinsurance Program Fee Update

Several months ago on this blog, MedBen described the Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations establishing payments due from group health plans for use in funding a transitional reinsurance pool for carriers in the non-grandfathered individual market. The… more »

01/25/13

  04:38:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 345 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

March 1st Exchange Options Notice Requirement Delayed

On January 24, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would delay the compliance date for the delivery of employer-provided Exchange Option Notices required to be distributed to employees beginning March 1, 2013. As part of health care… more »

01/24/13

  04:42:02 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Business Coalition Asks HHS To Keep Essential Benefits Manageable

Concerned that governmental decree of what constitutes “essential” health care benefits could overburden small-group and individual insurance plans, a coalition of business groups, health plans and health care providers has asked the… more »

01/23/13

  05:30:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 259 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Putting Family Doc First Good For Health And Wallet

On the KevinMD.com blog, Dr. Davis Lui says there is more to the family doctor than meets the eye… and the numbers agree: “If you view your primary care doctor as a person to simply get referrals from to get better care, think again.… more »

01/21/13

  05:55:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 228 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Study Examines Effectiveness Of Online Doctor Visits

As more Americans have grown comfortable sharing personal information over the Internet, the medical profession is testing the waters a bit. Some physician’s offices now offer “e-visits", in which patients complete online forms and a doctor… more »

01/18/13

  04:55:48 pm, by MedBen5   , 261 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Employee Survey Reveals Personal Health Misperceptions, Benefits Of CDHPs

What employees think about their personal health often differs from reality, based on the results of a new survey from Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health and The Futures Company. But the survey also revealed some positive news for… more »

01/17/13

  05:44:04 pm, by MedBen5   , 241 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Federal Officials Give States Extra Time To Establish Exchanges

With only a handful of states committed to operating health insurance exchanges, the Obama administration is undoubtedly concerned how the federal government will somehow oversee the remaining states. So the announcement by the White House extending the… more »

01/16/13

  05:39:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 159 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Consumers Paying Smaller Portion of Health Care Spending

Despite the increased popularity of consumer-driven health plans, new government figures show that patients are actually paying a smaller share of overall health care costs. Kaiser Health News reports that consumers’ share of national health… more »

01/15/13

  05:53:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 348 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Making The Case For Private Health Insurance

Is private health insurance more costly than public health insurance? John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis says the question is “silly", and offers five principles to explain why, which we excerpt below: Principle 1: There is… more »

01/14/13

  06:03:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 243 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Primary Care Crisis Exaggerated, Study Claims

Recent concerns of a looming shortage of primary care doctors are overblown, a new study suggests. However, some experts have taken issue with the conclusions reached. According to MedPage Today, an analysis of potential responses to a reduced number… more »

01/11/13

  05:04:09 pm, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Patients Bear Portion Of Cost For Generic Mistrust

P.J. Skerrett of The Harvard Health Blog reflects on a recent survey which revealed that 37% of physicians sometimes or often prescribed a brand-name drug over a generic when a patient requested it: “According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association,… more »

01/10/13

  11:07:14 am, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

U.S. Health Care Spending Continues Slow Growth

National health spending growth remained low for the third consecutive year, The New York Times reports. The Obama administration said Monday that spending rose $2.7 trillion in 2011, or an average of $8,700 per American. The 3.9% rate of increase in… more »

01/08/13

  05:51:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Cancer Deaths Steadily Declining, Study Finds

Fewer Americans are dying from cancer, a new report finds. According to WebMD, the report – which includes contributions by the American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control, National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of… more »

01/07/13

  04:46:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Biggest Concerns for Self-funded Employers in 2013

Health consultants Mercer has put together a list of priorities for self-funded employers in 2013. Not surprisingly, looming changes under the Affordable Care Act will likely play a signficant role in the decision-making process this year. Among the… more »

01/04/13

  05:39:26 pm, by MedBen5   , 236 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

New Research Shows Importance Of Vision Care (and Vision Insurance)

We’ve noted on this blog that regular vision exams can help to identify the onset of diabetes. Now, new research emphasizes just how crucial early detection can be. According to Employee Benefit News, a study in the Journal of the American… more »

01/03/13

  06:01:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 270 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Drug's Appearance May Affect Patient Adherence: Study

With a long-term prescription for a generic drug, it’s not uncommon for a pharmacist to substitute one version of the generic for another. And more often than not, the replacement will appear different than the original… which can leave the… more »

01/02/13

  06:03:57 pm, by MedBen5   , 184 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Proposal Clarifies Employer-Sponsored Coverage Rules

A few hours before adjourning for New Year festivities, the Obama administration issued an interpretration of employer health care coverage rules under the Affordable Care Act. According to The New York Times, new provisions proposed by the Internal… more »