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Health Care Costs

Wellness Programs Can Reduce Worker Medical Costs by 18 Percent: Study

January 9, 2013
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The report said wellness programs could reduce costs for risks such as physical inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. If the risk factors were lowered to “theoretical minimums,” health care expenses could be lowered by an average of $650, or 18.4 percent, for all working adults, the study said.
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Specialty Drugs and the Cost Conundrum

January 3, 2013
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Steep prices of specialty drugs—such as Humira or Enbrel, which can cost more than $14,000 annually—are prompting employers to focus on managing the expense. But the question is how. “There are lots of cogs in this wheel and that complicates the management of these drugs,” says Cheryl Larson, vice president of the Midwest Business Group on Health.
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Minnesota, Rhode Island Get OK to Launch Health Insurance Exchanges

December 20, 2012
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given tentative approval to applications filed by Minnesota and Rhode Island to launch health insurance exchanges in 2014.
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Group Benefits Costs to Rise at Slowest Rate in 11 Years: Study

December 19, 2012
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A survey of 123 insurers and benefits administrators, released Dec. 17, indicated that group health care plan cost increases through June 2013 will be between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent lower than they were in the first half of this year.
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Coalition Cautions Employers to Weigh the Risks of Wellness Incentives

December 18, 2012
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The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society are among the groups providing guidance on how organizations can design outcomes-based incentives programs that don't discriminate against employees.
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Cabinet-maker Among Firms Adding Wellness to Health Care Cupboard

December 18, 2012
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For companies considering healthy programs, it's important to create a wellness culture, one executive says. “If you're doing it just to attack claims, don't do it. It won't succeed.”
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Pennsylvania Will Not Set Up Health Insurance Exchange

December 13, 2012
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Pennsylvania is the latest state to declare it will not set up a state health exchange. States have until Dec. 14 to inform federal regulators whether they intend to establish exchanges.
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Workers' Spending on Health Premiums Surges 74 Percent in 8 Years

December 12, 2012
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A worker, on average, spent $3,962 on family premiums in 2011, an increase of 74 percent from 2003. Meanwhile, the average family premium totaled $15,022, an increase of 62 percent from 2003, the report said.
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New Jersey's Christie Rejects State-Run Health Insurance Exchange

December 7, 2012
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, put his state among a growing number that will defer to the federal government to run the health insurance marketplaces that are a key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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