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Articles by Charlotte Huff

Volunteering on the Job Clock

August 30, 2010
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Corporations that provide employees paid time off to volunteer typically pursue one of two routes: setting a designated volunteer day or providing a block of paid hours annually. Which approach works best depends upon the employees involved, as well as what company officials want to achieve through the volunteer initiative, experts say.
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Special Report on Health Benefits Butting In

August 19, 2010
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More employers are hitting workers in the pocketbook by adopting financial penalties to curb risky health behaviors such as smoking or, conversely, using incentives to encourage healthy habits like losing weight. Experts say careful program design is key to avoiding legal and privacy issues.
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Shedding Pounds, Premium Dollars

August 19, 2010
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Last year the Alabama State Employees' Insurance Board decided to try the carrot approach to encourage employees to undergo wellness screenings and obtain medical help. Now all employees who are screened receive a $25 monthly discount on their 2010 health insurance premiums.
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Measuring Health Risk Surveys vs. Screening

August 16, 2010
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Hiring clinicians to check employee blood pressure and other risk factors is typically more costly than simply asking workers to fill out a survey. But is the additional cost and effort worth it? Researchers and other experts differ regarding which companies might benefit, and why.
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Employers Bolster Medication Adherence Initiatives

July 20, 2010
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Given the millions of dollars at stake, large employers are implementing more sophisticated strategies to encourage employees to stick with their medication. Nearly half of those recently surveyed are considering lower co-pays as one approach.
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Reform Could Accelerate Shift to High-Deductible Plans

July 1, 2010
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High-deductible plans, with or without an attached savings account, may provide the best flexibility to meet the coverage limits—both minimum and maximum—inherent in the health reform legislation.
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Reform Creates Wrinkles for Flexible Spending Accounts

June 14, 2010
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With a little education, employers can head off most employee concerns, benefits experts say. But the new prescription requirement for over-the-counter medications might reshape spending habits.
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Weighing the Benefits of Tapping a Health Advocacy Service

May 28, 2010
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Proponents of health advocacy services say they can boost employee satisfaction and loyalty, while others question their necessity. A savvy human resources employee can fill that advocacy role, says one expert.
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Cigna's Pilot Program Tries to Stop Disability Before It Starts

May 14, 2010
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Employees are approached to enroll in the pilot study, called the Absence Prediction and Prevention Program, if they are assessed to be facing at least a three-times-higher risk than the typical employee of going on short-term disability within the next 12 months.
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Laparoscopic Surgeries The Better Surgical Cut

May 5, 2010
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In an analysis prior to the initiative, a Colorado Springs school district determined that its employees’ use of laparoscopy already had saved nearly $1 million over a two-year period. That savings translates to at least $6 per member per month for the district, which is self-funded.
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