Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 12, 2018

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2018 Employer Guide: Implementing Wellness Programs Successfully (PDF)

83 pages. "Small and medium organizations face a number of limitations given their size and financial reserves, but employees' health and well-being needs are a constant regardless of organization size. Employees need a safe, socially supportive, and health-promoting work environment that not only supports their wellness, but also enables them to do their best work.... This Guide provides background information and an assessment tool for employers to select a wellness program that provides the best match."
Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces at University of California, Berkeley, and Transamerica Center for Health Studies

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Most Americans Miss Out on Preventive Healthcare

"Researchers looked at survey data from nearly 2,800 people over age 35 and found only 8 percent were getting all of the highly recommended preventive services with the greatest potential for improving health. The survey included questions about the receipt of 15 high-priority preventive services including blood pressure and cholesterol checks, screening for osteoporosis and several cancers, counseling on tobacco use, obesity, alcohol use and depression, plus vaccinations and aspirin use."
Reuters

Trends in Healthcare Expenditures Among U.S. Adults with Hypertension: National Estimates, 2003-2014 (PDF)

"One in 3 US adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension.... Individuals with hypertension are estimated to face nearly $2000 higher annual healthcare expenditure compared with their nonhypertensive peers. This trend has been relatively stable over 12 years. Healthcare costs associated with hypertension account for about $131 billion. This warrants intense effort toward hypertension prevention and management."
Journal of the American Heart Association

Differential Treatment and Health Outcomes by Insurance Coverage Among Nonelderly Adult Patients with Heart Attack

"[T]reatment received and health outcomes strongly vary between Medicaid-insured, uninsured, and privately insured patients, with Medicaid-insured patients most disproportionately affected, despite having better access to cardiac technology."
Journal of the American Heart Association

White House Meets Stakeholders on Small Business Health Rule

"Four groups have met with the Trump administration to lay out what they want in the [DOL's] rule to expand health insurance for small businesses as it nears the rule-making finish line.... The groups' interests indicate that state oversight may be a key topic of concern."
Bloomberg BNA

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Paying Off Employees' Student Loans Gains Traction Among Employers

"[S]tudent loan repayment programs entail the employer making a monthly or other periodic payment to the holder of the student loan.... [M]any employers offer new hires the right to participate immediately upon starting employment.... Employers who are considering implementing a student loan repayment program should be aware that there are practical issues that will need to be addressed[.]"
Blank Rome LLP

[Opinion]

AHIP Statement Regarding Administration's Refusal to Defend Constitutionality of ACA Provisions

"Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue and community rating rules that help those with pre-existing conditions. Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019."
America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

Press Releases

DOL Reaches Agreement to Restore More Than $1 Million to Chicago-based Health Insurance Trust Fund
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2018 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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