Hearsay & News Review
Deere & Co. has announced the sale of its managed care unit to United
Healthcare for about $500 million in a stock purchase transaction that is
expected to be completed by April 1st.
survey by Watson and the National Business Group on Health found that 41% of
employers incorporate health and productivity initiatives into their overall
health care planning and another third of those surveyed planned to do the same
in 2006. Most of the respondents also have EAP programs and 70% have health
promotion programs or health risk appraisals and work and family programs.
consulting firm Yankelovich performed a recent survey on consumer attitudes
towards wellness and disease prevention. They classified one-third of
respondents as “disinterested” and 39% have a “take charge” attitude.
Slightly less than that are ‘middle of the road,” which means they are aware
of health risks, but take action only when faced with a crisis. Nine percent
have the ‘best of intentions,” but don’t have the discipline or willpower
to follow through on health issues. Interestingly, those in the
“disinterested” category will not respond to the standard obesity message
regarding health issues, but are more prone to respond to messages that address
obesity in terms of personal appearance.
to HSA Bank’s statistics, about 92% of accountholders are saving at least a
portion of the contributed funds in their HSAs, with more than 63% saving at
least half of the funds contributed. They reported their average balance in HSA
accounts to be over $1,500.
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducted a survey that found those
covered by high deductible plans are more likely than those with comprehensive
insurance to avoid or delay needed care. However, the survey also found that
those with high deductible plans also exhibit more cost-conscious behavior. The
question seems to be whether cost –consciousness comes at the expense of good
decision-making in regard to treatment.
Financial says that 90% of respondents to their survey still rate health
insurance as highest in importance of the benefits they receive. The second
ranked benefit was defined benefit plans at 71%.
In regard to retirement savings, 77% plan to make no change in their
investment mix, while 23% planned changes. Of the 23%, fifteen percent were
switching to a more stable mix and and 9% were switching to a more volatile mix.
Meanwhile, a new EBRI study found that in 2004, retirement spending narrowly
exceeded health care as the leading item in total benefit spending-47.1% for
retirement, 43.2% for health care and 9.7% for all other benefits. In terms of
total compensation, wages and salaries accounted for 81% of total compensation
Healthcare of Georgia will pay at least $2.3M to settle claims that the company
failed to pay fast enough to doctors and hospitals.
law requires insurers to pay medical providers’ claims within 15 business
days or explain why they can’t be paid. Ironically, UHC was recently awarded
the business as the claim payer for the state of
UHC deal to acquire PacifiCare has won
antitrust approval of the $8 billion deal after the companies agreed to divest
parts of PacifiCare’s business in
survey of CFO’s showed that less than 1/3 of them said they would be giving
higher salary increases in 2006 than in 2005.
Part D has created more than enough confusion among seniors and those trying to
help them with their selections. Imagine the reaction when seniors calling the
800 number provided by Humana in their literature for confirming enrollment,
were instead connected to “Intimate Encounters” phone sex line. Humana found
out about the error through a reporter. Business Insurance reported that none of
the 20,000 beneficiaries who received the wrong number in their letter
complained. Apparently the conversations were more interesting than those
calling had expected.
a Great 2006!