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Defined Contribution Healthplans

Interest in a defined contribution (DC) approach to employee benefits, especially health insurance, is growing.  Obviously, this is a strategy that forward-thinking employers will want to consider as these programs mature and outcomes data becomes available in the years to come. To help us understand what a DC approach might mean to health insurance, we can look to what occurred...
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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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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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True Preventive Care

In a previous blog, I introduced the idea that “preventive care” in healthplans is really a misnomer.  The services we’re led to believe are preventive in nature (because that’s what they’re referred to) are nearly all screening or diagnostic – they don’t prevent disease.  Of the following benefits typically covered under “preventive care”, only one (1) is truly preventive.  Can...
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Compliance-driven Health™

Consumer-driven Health (CDH) was a fatally flawed concept from Day One.  The idea that a layperson could somehow improve their own clinical outcomes and lower costs by taking advantage of sponsored online medical resources is a stretch of the imagination at best – especially when that person might be facing a new diagnosis. Further, the purchase of healthcare services is unlike most...
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