Will federal employees become subject to release through furloughs, and how will their wages and benefits be affected?Good question.
A month or so ago, the FEHBlog noted that the Walgreen's pharmacy chain was squabbling with prescription benefits manager Express Scripts. Chicago Business provides an update on the squabble and interesting background on the pharmacy chain and its CEO Gregory Wasson. Meanwhile, Investor Place.com compares and contrasts Walgreen's with its competitor CVS which owns Caremark, one of the big three PBMs. (Caremark, Express Scripts, and Medco). CVS bought Caremark a few years ago, while Walgreen's sold its PBM unit to Catalyst Health Solutions earlier this year.
This year OPM required all FEHB plans to offer enhanced smoking cessation programs. The Washington Post reports today on the alternative approaches that some large employers are using to discourage smoking among their employees.
On July 1, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Macy’s began charging smokers $420 more a year in health coverage, something PepsiCo and Gannett already do (albeit at even steeper premiums). Last year, Whole Foods started giving non-smoking employees bigger discounts in their stores. And employers ranging from Scotts Miracle-Gro to the Cleveland Clinic to, now,Humana, are not hiring smokers at all, either company-wide or in certain states.The article discusses the pros and cons of the carrot and stick approaches.