Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits

OPM has released the Powerpoint presentation from its recent health care reform webinar as well as twelve pages of FAQs and Fast Facts mostly discussing the changes to child eligibility wrought by the Affordable Care Act. These changes take effect on January 1, 2011.

OPM also created a website about the expanded smoking cessation benefits that become available to FEHB plan participants on January 1, 2011.
Beginning plan year 2011, all FEHB program plans must cover:

Four tobacco cessation counseling sessions of at least 30 minutes for at least two quit attempts per year. This includes proactive telephone counseling, group counseling and individual counseling.

All 7 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved tobacco cessation medications.

These benefits must be provided with no copayments or coinsurance and not subject to deductibles, annual or life time dollar limits.
HHS offers a very good stop smoking website with no cost help lines available to anyone.

Bloomberg by way of Business Insurance reports that
Diabetes or prediabetic conditions will strike half of all adult Americans by the end of the decade unless people drop extra weight, says UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer by sales.
The disease will cost the nation almost $3.4 trillion, with more than 60% paid by the U.S. government, in the 10 years through 2020, according to a study released today by the Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer. The number of Americans afflicted with high blood sugar will rise 44% to 135 million in 2020, from 93.8 million in 2010, researchers said. 
That's a troubling prediction.

Fiercehealthcare.com reports that health insurer Humana is acquiring Concentra. "The acquisition will give Humana more than 300 medical centers in 42 states where Concentra delivers occupational medicine, urgent care, physical therapy and wellness services to workers. Nearly 3 million Humana customers live near a Concentra center. Concentra's annual revenues are about $800 million." That's an interesting post Affordable Care Act business move for an insurer to make.

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