Side Effects Not Linked to Gardasil

Reports of serious adverse events and deaths in young girls and women following administration with Merck & Co.‘s Gardasil are likely not related to the cervical-cancer vaccine, federal health officials said Wednesday

WSJ Article

Wellness Programs in Health Coverage in the Group Market

The attached document below contains final rules governing the provisions prohibiting discrimination based on a health factor for group health plans and issuers of health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan.

 

These final regulations apply for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2007.

 Final Regs 

 

 

New Law Provides Parity for Mental Health, Addiction Services

Business with 51 or more employees that offers coverage for mental health services is required to provide the same level of deductibles, copayments, out-of-pocket expenses, co-insurance, covered hospital stays and covered outpatient visits for mental health services and addiction services as it does for physical ailments, said Hannah Vanderbush, deputy press secretary for Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a chief sponsor of the legislation.

 

The bottom line spells increased costs to all employers with 51 or more employees.

 

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Hewitt Data Reveals Little Change in U.S. Health Care Cost Increases for 2009

This Hewitt report indicates that the average health plan increases across the U.S will average between 6%-7% for 2009 with several exceptions for metropolitan areas that experienced increases as high 11%.  

 

Jim Winkler, North American practice leader of Hewitt’s Health Management Consulting business states “The “Employers continue to diligently manage health care costs through a combination of approaches, including continued cost shifting, tougher negotiations with health plans, and expanded health and wellness programs with incentives to encourage behavior change.

 

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Obama No Single Payor Health Care System

On September 15, 2008 Staten Island University Hospital agreed to return $88.9 million that prosecutors say it fraudulently obtained from government health insurance programs, one of the largest settlements of such a claim ever paid by a single hospital.  This is the fraud that will continue under a single payor health care delivery system. 

 

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