Newspapers Examine Use Of Health Savings Accounts By Employers, Investors

Summaries of recent articles about health savings accounts appear below. * Employers: An increasing number of businesses looking to help their workers with health insurance costs “are turning to the HSA model as a way to protect themselves from escalating premiums and to offer their employees a creative way to shelter their wages,” Richard Bernstein, […]

Recent EEOC Decision Could Help Maintain Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance, Editorial States

A recent decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that employers can legally eliminate or reduce health benefits for retirees when they reach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare and retain benefits for retirees younger than age 65 “is a welcome step that could help slow the deterioration of employment-based health insurance” and “help […]

Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Highlights Employers’ Efforts To Reduce Health Care Cost

Summaries of several efforts by employers to reduce health insurance costs appear below. * Employee health: “Enterprising employers are investing in the health of their employees and realizing less acute care, disability and lower general health care costs,” with such investments also likely to promote “better employee morale and retention rates,” the Miami Herald reports. […]

Massachusetts Department Of Revenue Releases Draft Regulations That Would Increase Penalties For Uninsured Residents

The penalty for Massachusetts residents who can afford but do not purchase health insurance in 2008 could quadruple compared with the penalty in 2007 under draft regulations released by the state Department of Revenue on Monday, the Boston Globe reports. If the regulations are approved, the maximum penalty this year for residents who do not […]

Recent Studies Indicate Lack Of Health Insurance ‘Seriously Harmful’ To Health, Editorial States

Two recent studies found “uninsured people suffer significantly worse outcomes from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer than those who have coverage,” providing the “most comprehensive evidence yet that a lack of health insurance is seriously harmful to a patient’s health,” according to a New York Times editorial. According to the editorial, a Harvard Medical School […]

Small Businesses Could Have Major Influence On Next President’s Health Care Plan

The Los Angeles Times last month examined how the “verdict of small business owners could lift or sink the next president’s health care reform plan.” Small businesses are “at the core of both the policy problem and the thorniest political challenge” to reducing the number of uninsured U.S. residents, the Times reports. While most large […]

Schwarzenegger, Nunez Submit Ballot Initiative For Health Care Reform Proposal

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D) on Friday submitted to the state attorney general a proposed ballot initiative for the November 2008 elections that would provide the funding mechanism and other changes necessary to enact their plan to overhaul the state’s health care system, the Los Angeles Times reports. […]

Blue Cross And Blue Shield Of North Carolina Waives Copayments On Drugs For Chronic Conditions

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) will waive the copayment on all generic medications that treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes effective January 1, 2008. In addition, more than 40 brand-name drugs that treat these specific conditions will be moved into a lower-cost drug classification category to […]

Recent Op-Ed Highlights Need To Pass Bill To Allow U.S. Residents To Purchase Health Insurance In Any State, Letter Says

A Dec. 12 Wall Street Journal opinion piece written by Merrill Matthews, executive director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, highlights the “tragedy of state governments forbidding citizens from exercising the basic right to buy health insurance from other states,” John Graham, director of health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute, writes in […]

Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama Talks With New Hampshire Voters About Problems With Health Care Costs, Other Issues

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Wednesday at The Common Man restaurant in Concord, N.H., assembled six New Hampshire voters who told their stories about problems with health care costs and other issues, The Politico reports (Budoff Brown, The Politico, 12/20). At the event, Sandra Burt, who last summer turned 65 and lost her […]