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Archives for: May 2013

05/30/13

  08:19:01 pm, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

New Employer Wellness Rule Increases Incentive Maximum

Employers can use greater rewards – and penalties – to encourage wellness in the workplace, according to a newly released rule under the Afforable Care Act. New York Times reports that the rule will allow employers to offer financial… more »

05/29/13

  05:11:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Americans Living Longer... And Living Sicker

Midwest states Ohio and Michigan rank, appropriately enough, among the middle of the pack in a study of senior health nationwide, USA Today reports. The newly-released America’s Health Rankings Senior Report found that while Americans are living… more »

05/28/13

  05:06:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Employers Trading In "Cadillac" Plans For More Tax-Friendly Models

“The 2010 Affordable Care Act’s so-called Cadillac tax on high-premium health plans was initially projected to bring in $137 billion over the next decade. That estimate has now been trimmed to about $80 billion, a $57 billion decrease, the Congressional… more »
  04:48:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 203 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Heart Disease Death Risk Down, But Still High

The odds of surviving heart failure is improving, according to an analysis by researchers at UCLA – but the death rate remains high. NPR reports that improved treatments for advanced heart failure, such as new medications and devices, have… more »

05/24/13

  08:43:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 238 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Prescription, Health Plan Management

MedBen Closed On Memorial Day, But Online Services Available

The staff of MedBen want to wish you and your family a happy and safe Memorial Day! Our home office will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of the holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2012. During this time, please remember… more »
  08:33:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Health Care Apps To Make Your Smartphone Smarter

MedCity News showcases some cool (and in some cases, free) smartphone apps with the potential to help health care consumers make smarter choices: Pokitdok – A health marketplace with price transparency for health services, where consumers can… more »
  04:59:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Most Employers Say They Will Offer Health Coverage Next Year

Pouring more fuel onto the “will they/won’t they” debate that has raged since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the latest survey to gauge employer reaction to health care reform found that most companies say they will… more »

05/23/13

  10:18:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 214 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Women In 40s Continue Mammograms Despite Government Guidelines

Many women still choose to get breast cancer screenings in the 40’s, even though the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) advises that they can wait until later, a new study found. According to MedPage Today, an analysis of breast… more »
  09:27:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 145 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Fewer Employers Have Grandfathered Plans, Survey Says

A decreasing number of employer groups have grandfathered health care plans, a new survey reveals. According to Business Insurance, the employer survey by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that only 27.3% of respondents said… more »

05/21/13

  09:12:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 222 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Unclear Reform Laws Leave Plan Sponsors Guessing

“We don’t know how much information the Department of Health and Human Services will want.” According to Employer Benefits News, this statement became something of a mantra during a talk on the Affordable Care Act. Speaking at the International… more »
  04:11:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 239 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

The "Three P's" And The Future Of Health Care Delivery

Digital technology will radically transform the practice of medicine, predicts Dr. David Levin, the Chief Medical Information Officer at the Cleveland Clinic. “Change is coming as we transition from a volume-based system to a value-based system, where… more »

05/19/13

  01:05:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 199 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

IRS Tax Credit Guidelines For HSAs, HRAs And Wellness May Penalize Employers

Income tax credit guidelines for state-run insurance exchanges, released earlier this month by the IRS for eligible individuals, may also have a bearing on their employers. As the Benefit Blog notes, “any full-time employee who obtains such a credit may… more »

05/17/13

  04:51:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Drug Companies Using Doctor Databases To Market Products

Drug marketing has come a long way from the days of plying doctors for details about their prescribing habits over lunch, The New York Times reports. Now, much of the insider information pharmaceutical companies crave is available through electronic… more »

05/16/13

  05:07:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 139 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

MedBen Turns 75: "Only our clients are older than us"

From The Newark Advocate – “MedBen celebrates 75 years of growing big in small markets“: “Chairman and CEO Doug Freeman, who has headed MedBen for 25 years, said the company found many of its 427 clients in markets about the size of… more »
  04:44:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

FDA Approves Late-stage Prostate Cancer Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Xofigo, a drug for men in the advanced stages of prostate cancer, HealthDay News reports (via WebMD). Targeted to patients with late-stage, metastatic disease that has spread to the bones but not to… more »
  04:08:10 pm, by MedBen5   , 172 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Hysterectomies In Midlife Don't Raise Heart Disease Risk, Study Suggests

Older women who are hysterectomy candidates but are reluctant to proceed due to fears of increased cardiovascular disease risk shouldn’t be overly concerned, a new study suggests. According to HealthDay News (via MedicineNet.com), researchers… more »

05/14/13

  05:05:47 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Survey Reveals Small Business Concerns With Health Care Reform Law

“Small businesses are not on board with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a Gallup survey released last week. The survey of more than 600 small businesses, commissioned by law firm Littler Mendelson, finds that 48% of… more »
  04:48:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 203 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study: Waist-to-Height Ratio Better Predictor Of Mortality Risk Than BMI

Body mass index (BMI) is a commonly used way to gauge an individual’s risk of an early death, in spite of the fact that many medical professionals question its accuracy. Now, the results of a British study suggest an alternate measure may be more… more »

05/13/13

  10:20:58 pm, by MedBen5   , 175 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Rx Spending Falls For First Time In Six Decades, Report Says

Last year witnessed a number of popular brand name prescription drugs losing their patent protection – a circumstance that led to a decrease in U.S. pharmaceutical spending for the first time since 1957, a new report concludes. According to The… more »
  09:31:26 pm, by MedBen5   , 172 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Health Plan Management

HHS Asking Businesses For Donations To Promote Reform Law

Following a refusal by Congress to provide extra funding to set up the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has turned to the private sector for help. The Washington Post reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has… more »

05/08/13

  03:57:55 pm, by MedBen5   , 949 words,  
Categories: Announcements

MedBen Celebrates 75 Years of Providing Employer Health Benefits Services

May 8th marks the 75th anniversary of health care benefits management company MedBen. Initially specializing in group hospitalization plans, the Newark, Ohio-based business has greatly expanded its operations to provide a variety of benefits services to… more »

05/07/13

  08:56:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 306 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New Reform Fees, Self-Funding Advantages Explored At MBU

Health care reform and its impact of self-funded group health coverage were among the topics at the latest MedBen University (MBU), held today at the Morrow Conference Center in Newark, Ohio. Caroline Fraker, MedBen Vice President of Compliance, has… more »
  04:45:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 244 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Slow Health Care Spending Growth Not Just Due To Economy, Studies Suggest

The economic downturn of recent years is not the overriding factor for the slower growth in health care spending, two new studies suggest. The findings contradict earlier speculation that the slowdown was due primarily to the latest recession, which… more »

05/06/13

  05:04:15 pm, by MedBen5   , 137 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Releases HSA Inflation Adjustments For 2014

Lest Thursday, the IRS released the cost-of-living adjustments affecting health savings accounts (HSAs) for calendar year 2014. The HSA contribution limits and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) out-of-pocket maximums will both increase. The HDHP… more »
  04:54:31 pm, by MedBen5   , 210 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Oregon Medicaid Study A Portent Of Nationwide Reform?

Avik Roy on an Oregon study to determine whether people on Medicaid have better health outcomes than those with no insurance at all, and how the finding impact nationwide health care reform: “Piles of studies have shown that people on Medicaid have… more »

05/02/13

  05:49:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 190 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Proposed Wellness Ruling Impacts Large Employers

In proposed federal rules announced earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service announced that worksite wellness programs offered by employer-sponsored health care plans don’t count toward minimum coverage requirements, Reuters reports. Only… more »
  05:16:37 pm, by MedBen5   , 268 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Health Care Campaign Ad Stresses Proper ER Use

We’re a bit late in noticing this ad (and thanks to the KevinMD.com blog for posting it) but it certainly drives its point home effectively. Part of a 2011 British campaign by the National Health Service, the ad highlights various alternatives to… more »
  04:38:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 214 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Most Adults Fail To Meet Recommended Exercise Guidelines

You probably already suspected this, but the statistic is still somewhat dispiriting: A new study reveals that nearly 4 out of 5 Americans don’t get enough exercise. According to USA Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says… more »

05/01/13

  05:28:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 244 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Nearly Half Of U.S Unaware Affordable Care Act Is Law

It seems that a good number of people aren’t too concerned about the effects of the health care reform law – namely, because they don’t even know it’s really a law, NBC News reports. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation… more »
  05:01:08 pm, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Approves Over-The-Counter Plan B Contraceptive For Women 15 And Up

Women and girls 15 years and older with a valid ID will be able to buy Plan B One-Step over the counter, MedPage Today reports. Previously, girls under the age of 17 required a prescription to purchase the emergency contraceptive. In its announcement… more »