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What Small Businesses Want
Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care
If health plans expect to grow in the future, they will need to do a better job of reversing (or at least slowing) the trend of small businesses ending health benefits. This means creating programs and offering plans that small employers want, and limiting as much cost to the little guys as possible. [Read More]
  October 22, 2008

Editor's Picks
Health insurance too costly for many small employers
Most small employers that don't offer health insurance say they either wouldn't pay for the benefits or couldn't pay more than $50 per month to cover an employee, according to a new Mercer study. In fact, 33% of small employers surveyed said they were not willing to pay anything for employee health benefits. A Mercer researcher said the findings show that it's difficult for small employers to afford health coverage and highlights why consumer-driven health plans have become a more popular option for employers. [Read More]
Hawaii ending universal child healthcare
Only seven months after launching a universal healthcare program for children, Hawaii is ending the program because of budget shortfalls. The Keiki Care program aimed to cover every child from birth to 18 years old who didn't already have health insurance. The state will stop the program, which covers 2,000 children, by Nov. 1, but the Hawaii Medical Service Association has agreed to extend the coverage through the end of the year without government support. [Read More]
Newspaper spotlights individual insurance
In the first installment of a three-part series about health insurance, the Los Angeles Times tackles the issue of individual health insurance. Individual insurance has become a hot-button issue lately as policymakers have questioned insurers' rescission policies and more Americans have been forced into the individual market after their employers ended health benefits. [Read More]
Massachusetts defines acceptable health plans
Massachusetts health insurers must offer coverage for prescription drugs, preventive and primary care, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse services, and emergency services to be deemed acceptable under the state's health reform program, according to the state's Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority board. Residents will need coverage under a state-approved plan or face a penalty. The state's healthcare law currently requires most residents to have insurance or face a penalty of up to $912 per year. With the new rules that define acceptable health insurance plans in place, the penalty for 2009 is expected to be higher. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
Strong growth in Medicaid anticipated
AP/Yahoo News - October 20, 2008
Health insurers reinvent themselves as money managers
Los Angeles Times - October 22, 2008
Aetna to offer records in Microsoft HealthVault
AP/Yahoo News - October 22, 2008
Many kids lack insurance, despite having insured parents
HealthDay/Washington Post - October 22, 2008
Florida picks firms for the uninsured
Miami Herald - October 17, 2008
UnitedHealth profit off 28% as employers cut benefits
Minneapolis Star Tribune - October 17, 2008
Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts to cut administrative costs
Boston Globe - October 17, 2008
Congress reacts warily to Rhode Island Medicaid overhaul
Associated Press - October 20, 2008

October 29: In-sourcing vs. Outsourcing Disease and Health Management: What's the Right Mix
November 3: Financial Meltdown: Managing Through The Crisis
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
Deep Impact
Scott Clay, a senior principal with the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, talks about the effect of the deepening financial crisis on healthcare organizations. [Listen Now]
Consumer Corner
Social media crucial to CDH success

Interactions on the Web are transforming how consumers manage their health, and organizations that want to reach consumers need to be tapped in to this relatively new approach. From MySpace pages devoted to health issues to detailed YouTube videos of medical procedures to disease-specific online groups, social media have come to healthcare. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Six Ways to Improve Consumer-driven Plans

The premise behind consumer-driven healthcare seems sound: Create savings vehicles for enrollees' out-of-pocket expenses to encourage wiser spending, which will in turn reduce costs overall. But many in the industry remain unconvinced that CDH yields the promised results. [Read More]
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