Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's nice to have company. Yesterday, Govexec.com posted a report titled "Observers are leery of Postal Service plan to opt out of federal health and retirement programs.

Next month, we'll learn about the changes to FEHB premiums and the Government contribution for 2012. Business Insurance reported on a National Business Group on Health survey of large employers which "estimate that the cost of their group health care plans will rise an average of 7.2% in 2012, comparable to the 7.4% rise they expect this year." The NGBH press release adds
To help control those increases and begin driving down costs to avoid the Cadillac tax, employers are planning to use a wider variety of cost-sharing strategies. More than half of respondents (53%) plan to increase the percentage that employees contribute to the premiums, while 39% plan to increase in-network deductibles. Additionally, about one in four employers plans to increase out-of-network deductibles (23%) and out-of-pocket maximums (22%) next year. The survey, based on responses from 83 of the nation's largest corporations, was conducted in June 2011.
The FEHBlog is not quite sure what to make of this but the AMA News is reporting that "A study in the August issue of Health Affairs found that it is becoming more common for primary care doctors and other nonpsychiatrist physicians to prescribe antidepressants for conditions other than anxiety and major depressive disorder." The AMA News admirably recognizes that it's up to the medical profession to reverse this trend.

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