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Archives for: August 2013

08/30/13

  03:41:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 268 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Prescription, Health Plan Management

MedBen Closed Labor Day, But Online Services Ready To Help

The staff of MedBen would like to wish you and your family a safe and relaxing Labor Day! MedBen will be closed on Monday, September 2 and will reopen at 8:00 a.m. the following day. But even when we’re out of the office, our online customer… more »

08/29/13

  11:53:19 am, by MedBen5   , 199 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Signing Of Insurance Plans To Exchanges Temporarily On Hold

The Obama administration has announced another delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The signing of final agreements with insurance plans to be sold on federal health insurance exchanges has been postponed from the original dates of… more »

08/28/13

  12:00:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 513 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

ACA Reminder: Submit Plan Changes that Affect SBC to MedBen Early

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that health plans providing medical benefits provide a uniform summary of their benefits to eligible individuals to be used in comparing any different coverage options that are available to these individuals. When… more »

08/26/13

  04:35:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 226 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Health Plan Management

Internet Upgrade Will Offer Uninterrupted Service To MedBen Websites

In order to provide clients with continual access to online information regardless of bad weather or heavy web traffic, MedBen will be upgrading its Internet connection on the evening of Friday, September 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Work on the upgrade… more »

08/23/13

  05:20:55 pm, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

MedBen Health Care Reform Webinars Available Online

MedBen has just completed a seven-week Affordable Care Act Webinar Series. Led by MedBen Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker and offered exclusively to clients, each one-hour session focused on a different aspect of the Affordable Care Act and… more »

08/22/13

  04:07:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 282 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

UPS Spousal Policy Change Old News To MedBen

A Kaiser Health News/USA Today story is making the media rounds today: “Partly blaming the health law, United Parcel Service is set to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere. “Rising… more »
  10:34:22 am, by MedBen5   , 190 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

CVS Revokes Dispensing Privileges For Providers Who Overprescribe Painkillers

In an effort to reduce the overprescribing of opioids, CVS Caremark Corp. announced that it has taken the step of cutting off dispensing privileges, Reuters reports. The company said its stores and its mail-order pharmacy will no longer supply… more »

08/21/13

  11:07:57 am, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Delay For Out-of-Pocket Limits Applies Only To “Separately Administered” Benefits

A recent news item about a “largely unnoticed” delay for out-of-pocket cost limits under the Affordable Care Act created some confusion as for whom it was intended. As it happens, the one-year postponement affects only a small portion of… more »
  10:28:44 am, by MedBen5   , 226 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Group Health Premiums Continue To Rise Slowly, Survey Finds

Premiums for employer-based health insurance continue to grow slowly, say researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The New York Times reports that, according to the KFF survey, the average annual premium for family polices purchased through an… more »
  09:41:48 am, by MedBen5   , 226 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Study Links Free Checkups, Single Pills To Lower Blood Pressure

Could a no-copay checkup mean the difference between high and low blood pressure? Possibly, a new survey finds. According to the Associated Press, Kaiser Permanente in Northern California monitored patients with high blood pressure over an eight-year… more »

08/20/13

  04:51:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 293 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

Opioid Abuse Only One Part Of Costly Problem

While the issue of opioid painkiller abuse should naturally focus on getting help for those affected, there is also a financial factor that must also be acknowledged – for the employer, the doctor and the insurer, as well as the patient.… more »
  04:37:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Good Cholesterol May Slow Cancer Growth, Study Suggests

The benefits of “good” cholesterol don’t stop with a healthier heart. It’s also is an effective cancer-fighter, a new study finds. According to the Health Hub, researchers at Cleveland Clinic conducted tests on mice using a… more »
  10:17:26 am, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Care Reform

Poll: Higher Health Insurance Rates Okay For Smokers, Not For Overweight People

A Gallup poll released this week reports that 58% of Americans believe it’s okay to charge a higher health insurance rate to smokers, but only 41% agree overweight people should be charged more. According to MedCity News, the reason that many Americans… more »

08/19/13

  03:20:01 pm, by MedBen5   , 254 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Idea Of Drugstore Clinics Treating Chronic Conditions Troubling, Says Doctor

Retail clinics at pharmacy and department store chains are a growing business – and it’s a trend that has some doctors concerned. While acknowledging their usefulness for minor ailments, the recent announcement by Walgreens that their… more »
  12:23:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

10% Of Americans Have Used Another Person's Prescribed Drug

One in 10 Americans admits taking a prescription drug he or she has not been prescribed… and not everyone uses them for purely medicinal purposes, Reuters reports. According to an ongoing Reuters/Ipsos poll, about six in ten Americans who used… more »
  11:57:22 am, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Exchange Participants Will See Higher Premiums, Says Ohio Dept. Of Insurance

Ohio individuals and businesses that purchase health insurance through the state’s exchange will see significant increases in premium costs, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance. Based on rates submitted by insurance companies that will… more »

08/09/13

  05:14:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 473 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Keep Health FSA Status “Excepted” To Avoid Bureaucratic Headaches

As we posted on the blog earlier this year, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will no longer allow employers to offer “stand-alone” health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) effective January 1, 2014. We also noted that the rule does not apply to… more »

08/08/13

  10:46:03 am, by MedBen5   , 292 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Contact Lenses Work Best With Eye Doctor Partnership

On the Cleveland Clinic Health Hub, ophthalmologist Jeffrey Goshe, MD offers some “do’s” and “don’ts” for safe contact lens use. DON’T sleep in your contacts. “Almost every study of contact lens-related infections… more »
  10:19:28 am, by MedBen5   , 181 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Experimental Lung Drug Gets Support From FDA Advisory Panel

An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration has supported approval of the experimental drug riociguat to treat two types of pulmonary hypertension, Reuters reports. The agency typically follows such recommendations. Produced by Bayer,… more »
  10:00:28 am, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Calling Some Tumors A "Cancer" Is A Misnomer, Panel Contends

Is the term “cancer” overused nowadays? Absolutely, a group of medical experts argue. In a Journal of the American Medical Association editorial, an advisory panel to the National Cancer Institute states that only the lesions that typically… more »

08/07/13

  05:32:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 225 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Bush's Heart Procedure Puts Spotlight On Stenting

As often happens when a public figure has a medical issue, its treatment undergoes media scrutiny. Such was the case yesterday when it was announced that former president George W. Bush received a stent to clear blocked arteries in his heart. USA Today… more »
  04:35:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Congress Will Continue To Get Health Care Premium Contributions

Good news about health care reform! Well, good if you’re working on Capitol Hill, anyway… A ruling by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved the continuation of federal contributions to members of Congress and their staff when… more »
  04:10:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 147 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Taking Antioxidant Supplements Won't Help Women Conceive, Study Finds

Taking antioxidant supplements won’t improve the chances of women who are trying to get pregnant, a new review shows. According to HealthDay News, an analysis of 28 clinic trials that included a total of 3,548 women attending fertility clinics… more »

08/06/13

  04:58:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 195 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

"Affordable" Care Act? Not So Much For Young Adults

John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis notes that a little-noticed brief released last week, using data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website, contained some newsworthy information: “[T]he Government… more »
  04:26:25 pm, by MedBen5   , 187 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

U.S. Lags Behind Other Nations In Obesity Prevention Efforts

While there seems to be a general consensus that our population as a whole could be in better shape, that reality hasn’t motivated the United States to step up obesity-prevention efforts on a national or local level, says a report from the… more »

08/05/13

  05:11:47 pm, by MedBen5   , 202 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Mandate Delay Allows Employers To Invest More In Future

The delay in the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate has emboldened some small businesses to consider expansion: “Nearly a quarter, or 24.4%, of small-business owners affected by the delay said they will invest in equipment or facilities… more »
  04:49:14 pm, by MedBen5   , 229 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

TV Commercials for Cholesterol Drugs Many Contribute To Overprescribing

Behold the awesome power of TV advertising: A new study found that adults exposed to commercials for cholesterol-lowering pills were 16-20% more likely to be diagnosed with high cholesterol and 16-22% more likely to be using a statin. And that’s… more »

08/02/13

  05:10:36 pm, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Better Health Goals Helped By Strong Patient-Doctor Partnership

Americans say they’re more concerned about living healthy lifestyles, particularly in regard to their weight and diet, according to a new survey. USA Today reports that the survey, conducted for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of… more »
  05:05:02 pm, by MedBen5   , 246 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform

ACA Hospital Drug Discount Resulting In Higher Cancer Care Costs

As often seems to happen with government programs, good intentions sometime carry costly consequences. To wit: “The Affordable Care Act expands a program called 340B, which siphons money from drug makers and insurers to subsidize certain… more »
  04:58:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 187 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Acetaminophen Linked To Serious Skin Disorders, Warns FDA

The Food and Drug Administration has announced it will now place warnings on the popular pain reliever acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol. NPR reports that the goal of the agency’s action is not to make people nervous about using the drug, but… more »

08/01/13

  04:55:37 pm, by MedBen5   , 212 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

CBO Estimates Employer Mandate Delay Will Cost $12 Billion

The Obama administration’s decision to postpone implementation of the employer mandate until 2015 has bumped the cost of the Affordable Care Act up by $12 billion, based on a new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office. Reuters reports that… more »
  04:46:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 213 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

E-cigarettes: Safe Smoking Alternative Or New Bad Habit?

What started as an aid to kick the cigarette habit has fast evolved into a trendy accessory that appeals to youth and teens as well as adult smokers. But are electronic cigarettes as harmless as their makers would have us believe? “E-cigarettes”, while… more »
  03:02:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 186 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Panel Recommends OTC Sales Of Allergy Nasal Spray

An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that Nasacort AQ, an allergy nasal spray, to allowed to switch from prescription to over the counter (OTC). According to Medcape Medical News, the 10-to-6 vote supported the Sanofi… more »