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Bread or Med™?

In 2003, the move toward High-deductible Health Insurance Plans (HDHPs) was given impetus by a provision in the Medicare Modernization Act granting tax preferences to funds set aside to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses – conditional on enrollment in a plan having a minimum deductible of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families. At the time, only 8% of privately...
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3 First Steps to the Employer’s Expanding Health Benefits Role

Mercer’s 2011 Workplace Survey has revealed several encouraging findings for those of us involved in managing healthcare plans.  Specifically, the survey found: Nearly 8 out of 10 employees say their benefits are one of the reasons they work where they do. 91% of employees said that getting health benefits through work is just as important as getting a salary. An increased...
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Walmart: Saving money. But will employees live better?

Yesterday, Reuters reported that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart), the nation’s largest private employer, has made three (3) significant changes to their employee benefits plan which will take effect January 1, 2012: Walmart will no longer offer health insurance to new part-time U.S. employees (those working less than 24 hours a week), Walmart will begin charging workers who use tobacco more...
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Healthcare is a Shared Responsibility

During an Employee Benefits Network presentation in Chicago, Delia Vetter, senior director of benefits for EMC Corp, commented that healthcare is a “shared responsibility” between the employee and employer. I couldn’t agree more. Historically, however, the weight of this responsibility has been borne far more by the employer than by employees. Of the various reasons for this disproportionate sharing of...
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The Business Case for Health

Health insurance rate increases aren’t the problem. They’re a symptom. Similarly, absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity are symptoms of the same underlying cause. The cause driving all of these expenses is, of course, illness – or, more broadly, deteriorating health within our nation’s workforce and the families enrolled in health insurance plans.
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