News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
4/25/2017

Research in the Annals of Internal Medicine found people with a normal BMI but central obesity had a 22% higher risk of early death, and those with a BMI in the obesity range had a 13% increased risk, compared with people who stored fat in other areas of the body. Data showed having central obesity increased the risk of heart-related death by 25% among people with a normal BMI, 26% for those who were overweight and 56% for people with a BMI in the obese range.

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HealthDay News
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Obesity
4/25/2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Republican colleagues that he will bring the modified GOP health care bill back to the House only when he is certain it will get enough votes to pass, making it unlikely that the bill will come to a vote this week as Congress focuses on a funding bill to prevent a government shutdown. Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., proposed an amendment to the legislation that would allow state waivers for a variety of Affordable Care Act provisions, and the modification is expected to garner support from a number of GOP lawmakers who did not endorse the earlier legislation.

4/25/2017

States with easy nonmedical vaccine exemption policies were 140% and 190% more likely to experience a measles outbreak than states with medium and difficult exemption policies, respectively, researchers reported in Academic Pediatrics. The findings also showed that strengthening immunization policies reduced outbreak size by 50% and bolstered public health, health care system and individual cost savings.

4/25/2017

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that withdrawing funding for the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing subsidies would raise government costs by $2.3 billion next year. Although the government would save $10 billion by canceling payments, the move would push premiums up almost 20%, adding $12.3 billion to the government bill for tax credits.

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Reuters
4/25/2017

Some states are following the footsteps of Alaska and establishing reinsurance programs to help insurers manage the risk of covering high-cost enrollees in an effort to stabilize markets. Alaska, which created its program last year, and Minnesota are seeking federal support through a waiver option, and Oklahoma and possibly Maine have similar plans, while Idaho plans to use an existing insurance tax to fund its reinsurance program.

4/25/2017

Wellness and well-being are often used interchangeably, but well-being has been more about employee happiness and wellness has focused on health and disease prevention, Preventure's Barry Pailet said during a webcast. Pailet said that wellness has evolved into well-being, which includes a broad range of physical, financial, social and community aspects, and that companies focusing on increasing well-being program participation can boost employee engagement and improve performance.

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PlanSponsor.com
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Preventure
4/25/2017

Delta Personnel and Laitram LLC in the New Orleans area will be recognized with the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce's first Healthy Business awards. Laitram's wellness program includes an onsite health center and incentives for biometric screening, health coaching and other programs, while Delta Personnel provides healthy meals and snacks at work and sponsors employees who participate in charitable races.

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Delta Personnel, Laitram
4/25/2017

A Swedish study in Fertility and Sterility found women who took oral contraceptives had higher moderate to severe distress in general well-being and lower levels of vitality and self-control, compared with women in the placebo group. The findings, based on 340 women, showed no significant difference for anxiety or moderate to severe depressive symptoms.

4/25/2017

Republican lawmakers and aides said they will focus this week on averting a government shutdown and deal with health care legislation later.

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Congress
4/25/2017

Most moderate congressional Republicans have not commented on proposals to allow health insurers to charge higher rates based on health status and age, or to allow states to opt out of setting minimum coverage requirements or enforcing a 30% surcharge on subscribers who have not maintained continuous coverage. Any bill to replace the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to pass without moderate Republicans' support.

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Politico