HCPro Health Plan Insider - October 1, 2008 | Is SureBlue a Sure Bet? View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Is SureBlue a Sure Bet?
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will soon offer plans to small employers that will lock in healthcare rate increases. But to lock in that certainty, the businesses agree to move their employees to consumer-directed healthcare plans. [Read More]
  October 1, 2008

Editor's Picks
Take Part in HealthLeaders Survey
If you've got 10 minutes to spare (OK, even if you don't) I think you'll want to check out our HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey 2009. It's specifically designed for health plan executives. And this survey is part of a broader, cross-industry survey project with a number of different healthcare leaders, including hospital CEOs, finance, technology, physicians, marketing, quality, and community and rural. This is a unique opportunity for managed care leaders to participate in this wide-ranging survey and compare what your pain points and expectations are compared to others in healthcare. We'll provide comprehensive analysis of the survey results in Health Plan Insider and the February 2009 HealthLeaders magazine. To take part in this survey, please click here [Take the Survey Now]
Study: Seniors interested in generics if it affects their wallets
Consumer-driven healthcare advocates will surely rejoice at this study's results. A Medco Health Solutions Inc., study found that seniors who are footing the bill are more apt to ask their pharmacists for generic drugs rather than brand names. Most Medicare beneficiaries in the study only switched to generics after they reached the threshold at which they had to pay the whole cost of the prescriptions. [Read More]
Medicare officials advise seniors to shop around
The 10 most popular Medicare Part D plans will increase between 8%?64% next year. Federal officials are suggesting Medicare beneficiaries explore the dozens of prescription drug options to choose the plan that is best (and most cost-effective) for them. [Read More]
Healthcare straining families, studies find
More Americans are struggling with healthcare costs, according to two recent studies. The Center for Studying Health System Change reported that nearly one in every five families had trouble paying their medical bills last year and more than half of those families borrowed money to pay for healthcare. Meanwhile, a Kaiser Family Foundation study found employees are paying more than double the amount they spent on premiums in 1999 and the average family coverage cost has increased 5% from 2007. [Read More]
Federal employees will see average 8% healthcare cost spike
Sixty percent of federal employees will see their healthcare premiums balloon by nearly 13% next year, with the average increase for all federal workers about almost 8% in 2009. These figures are a sharp increase over the 2.9% and 2.3% over the past two years. An official pointed to increased costs of services and previous healthcare cost estimates being too low as the reasons for the spike. [Read More]
Death of a health plan
Nonprofit health plan JaxCare has gone out of business, leaving 1,500 low-income people without health insurance. JaxCare officials blamed city funding cuts, a lack of provider interest, and increased healthcare costs as the reasons the health plan closed its doors. [Read More]
Maryland reviews health plans
The Maryland Health Care Commission released an annual report last week that will allow residents to compare HMO, POS, and PPO plans. A major tenet in both quality and consumer-driven healthcare initiatives is allowing consumers to compare health plans so they can choose the right plan and trigger insurers to provide better care through their providers. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Medicare ends paying for 10 'never events'
New York Times, October 1, 2008
Massachusetts gets $10.6 billion for healthcare insurance
Boston Globe, October 1, 2008
Court upholds legality of San Francisco healthcare plan
San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 2008
Schwarzenegger grapples with new medical insurance laws
Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2008
Florida doctors pleased with new managed care law
Naples Daily News, September 29, 2008
Illinois bill requires hospital discounts for patients without insurance
Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2008
Illinois governor can't expand state-subsidized healthcare without lawmakers' approval
Chicago Tribune, September 29, 2008
Connecticut seniors could face sizable Medigap rate increases
Hartford Courant, September 29, 2008
State program helps decrease uninsured numbers in Tennessee
The Tennessean, October 1, 2008

October 29: In-sourcing vs. Outsourcing Disease and Health Management: What's the Right Mix
On Demand: Health Literacy: Four Ways to Create a Successful Program
On Demand: Legal and Tax Implications of Incentive Program Designs
On Demand: Value-based insurance design: Alternative to high-deductible plans
Listen Up
Time is right for CDH
Frank Hone, founder and CEO of Healthcentric Partners, Inc., a healthcare consumerism strategy and training company, talks about what is needed to educate a healthcare consumer and why the environment is right for consumer-driven healthcare. [Listen Now]
From HealthLeaders Media
Take This Health Plan and Shove It

All is not right in the world of consumer-directed healthcare. Many smart people think the future of healthcare cost containment lies with these vehicles. But people don't want them. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
10 Events That Could Change Healthcare

No one knows what the future holds, but several scenarios could significantly alter the healthcare landscape and pose formidable strategic, financial, and clinical challenges for senior leaders. Get ready. [Read More]
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Resources From HCPro

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