Ruh-roh: HealthCare.gov Receiving Facelift

June 17, 2014

The debut of HealthCare.gov was anything but pretty. System crashes Missing applications Customer service with few answers It’s a nightmare no one wants to revisit. Let’s hope the announcement of an overhaul is not a warning sign of enrollment terror yet to come. HealthCare.Gov Facelift Those of us who spent years in health insurance appreciate technology challenges. […]

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Powerhouse Watercress Is a Knockout

June 9, 2014

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Who knew? Sure, our moms told us that fruits and vegetables are good for us. But did you know watercress tops the charts of powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV for the acronym lovers)? Take that kale. Powerhouse Watercress A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bestowed watercress with bragging rights. Food […]

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Beware of Early Health Exchange Surveys

June 3, 2014

Some Americans have strong opinions about health reform’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Others are tired of talking, reading or hearing about it. I apologize to those in the last group for yet another post on the ACA. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) issued an early health exchange survey. Its stated purpose was “…to better understand the impact […]

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Wellness a Winner With Insurance Carriers

May 27, 2014

Is a wellness program a part of your employer-sponsored benefits? Despite debate over effectiveness, wellness programs are on the benefits menu for over half of employers (51 percent) with 50 or more workers. Insurance carriers have been known to make premium rate concessions for employers with active wellness programs. With today’s premiums, every dollar counts. Now […]

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The State of American Dental Care

May 20, 2014

Dental care is like health screenings. We know we should schedule a visit but we don’t always follow through. From fear to increasing out-of-pocket costs, we have a variety of reasons for not visiting our dentist (if we have one). The 2013 State of American Well-Being offers further insight into the state of dental care. Dental Care Visits According […]

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Disability Study Reflects Health Trends

May 13, 2014

Cigna’s 20-year disability study may be the Mini-Me of American health. The study tracked short-term disability claims incurred between 1993 to 2012. Absences related to three conditions increased significantly during that time. Obesity Skin cancer Herniated disc surgeries Certain medical conditions causing short-term disabilities are more prevalent than they were 20 years ago. Our aging workforce […]

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Health Care Utilization: More Than a Numbers Game

May 6, 2014

Health care utilization seems to be all about numbers. We measure utilization Make utilization projections And analyze the heck out of utilization For all our numbers-crunching, health care utilization is much more than a numbers game. Health Care Utilization Defined There are various definitions. Because I prefer simple, let’s use the following. The type and frequency of […]

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The Healthcare Consumer is Like a Bad Diet

April 29, 2014

The term healthcare consumer has always been a bit of an oxymoron. Health reform is supposed to transform us into better consumers. But isn’t over-consumption part of the problem? The healthcare consumer concept is like a bad diet. First you consume too much Then you starve yourself in hope of some miracle Healthcare Consumer Oxymoron […]

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Health Benefits Communication in Post-Reform World

April 21, 2014

Health benefits communication has a long tradition. Not all of it has been pretty. Legal language written like − well, legal language Lists of exclusions and limitations that grew longer The introduction of health reform’s Affordable Care Act You know you are in trouble when the government starts offering templates for Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The good […]

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Dental Benefits’ Confusing Marketplace Options

April 15, 2014

Dental benefits have been a slam-dunk for most employer-sponsored benefits. In the individual market, where you purchase your own insurance, many skip dental benefits. Dental professionals hoped health reform’s insurance marketplace would improve coverage. And it did. Sort of. Dental Benefits Under Health Reform Relieved dental benefits advocates applauded when health reform’s Affordable Care Act included […]

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