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S&S Benefits.....Opinion, Hearsay & News Review

S&S Benefits Consulting, Inc.  219 Darien , Dundee , IL 60118   Phone: 847-428-5353, Fax:847-428-9876

Email : jseiler@ssbenefits.net                                               http://www.ssbenefits.net/   July 2008 Issue

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that 60% of the population age 18 and over had a least one chronic health condition and these persons accounted for 9 out of every ten dollars spent on medical care in 2005. Only about ¼ of expenses for emergency care were associated with chronic conditions, but 3 out of every 4 dollars for prescriptions were for chronic conditions. The average spent on people with one chronic condition was $1,064 per year while those with two or more conditions spent an average of $4,571 per year. For those over age 65 with two or more chronic conditions the average per capita cost was over $6,000. Over 109 million Americans report having cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, pulmonary conditions and mental disorders at a cost of $1.3 trillion dollars per year ($1.1trillion in lost productivity and $277 billion on treatment).

In the unbelievable category-HealthPartners in Minnesota has announced new mascots. Petey P. Cup (yes it is a yellow pee cup) and Pokey the Syringe are supposed to make the health care process more “fun” and “memorable.” How that works, we are not sure. Perhaps Pokey spears that annoying Geico gecko, sticks him in the cup and gives it to the AFLAC duck. The duck opens the top of the cup, freaks when it sees the gecko, causing the duck to pee into Petey P. Cup? Gag me with a tongue depressor.

As of September 2007, total compensation costs were 51.4% higher for state and local government employers ($39.50 per hour worked) than the private sector ($26.09). Education sector employees accounted for 52.7% of all state and local government employees with total compensation costs or $42.48 per hour worked. Health insurance costs were $4.35 per hour (11% of compensation) for government employees and $1.85 per hour (7.1% of compensation) for private sector employees.

Condell Hospital in Libertyville , IL had claimed that Blue Cross owed them $26 million in payments and sued the company. However, Condell is being purchased by Advocate for $180 million and BCBSIL has said that they have renewed their contract with Advocate and that Condell is part of the deal. Condell had to sell because they were short of money. There is something ironic and sick about all that.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (supercalifragilistic for short) has surveyed 500 large employers and predicts that health costs will increase by 9.6% on 2009 compared to 9.9% in 2008.

S&S Benefits Consulting……We Solve Employee Benefit Problems-Give us a call the next time you need help.