Get Your Flu Shot Yet? Should You Bother?

It’s that time of year again: Flu Shot Season.  Everywhere you turn you’re advised to get a flu shot.

For years I resisted flu shots.  Not because I’m afraid of needles (I don’t like getting stuck, but it doesn’t really bother me) but because I’d always forget.  Like any less-than-pleasant task (putting the storm doors on the house, getting my car washed, etc) it was easy to put off.

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Smart Business Owners WORK at Lowering Health Costs

I am a big fan of a local (MA) website, TheMedicalGuide.

Its primary theme is that smart consumers consume far less medicine.  In fact, some studies seem to dramatically underline their point.

  • In one review of benign prostate disease, 40 percent fewer patients chose to have surgery when they learned that the relief it could bring to their urinary symptoms would likely be offset by sexual dysfunction.
  • In another study, this one on back pain, patients with herniated discs who gained a better understanding of the evidence were more than 30 percent less likely to opt for surgical intervention.

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Ten Ways to Design Better Wellness Incentive Programs, Annotated

Wellness is all the rage, so I follow whatever I find about it in order to let us be sure the advice we give you is top notch.  Recently, at the website for Employee Benefit Advisor (EBA – a benefit practitioner’s rag) there was an article with this title (minus the “Annotated” – that’s an Edholm addition.  EBA writes for brokers dealing with companies of all sizes, large and small.  Our little BBI universe consists of companies of up to about 300 employees … and your needs are different than MegaCorp, Inc.  So I thought I’d re-submit the article to you with my additions and thoughts.

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Weeding Out Medicare Fraud? Are You Kidding Me?

So I see this Wall Street Journal headline on one of my newsfeeds:

Joint DOJ, HHS Strike Force Seeks To Weed Out Medicare Fraud.

And I think to myself, “Surely they’re kidding.”

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Why Should You Offer a Wellness Plan?

Answer: Because Both You and They Are Paying for Stuff That Needn’t Happen

  • 88% of health care costs are spent on doctor visits, emergency room visits and hospital stays; not preventive care
  • 80% of medical expenses are incurred by 15% of the employee population effected by chronic health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, stroke)
  • 75% of these costs are preventable through lifestyle changes and medication Read more »

Tell Me Why.

OK, so I pick up the paper this morning (always the truth-teller, I’ll admit that Kathy picked up the paper this morning and told me about this), and I see where two guys in Salem, NH have been arrested for – get this – stealing street signs.

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Finally – Wellness That Kinda Makes Sense

You may have noticed over the last few issues that I’m not terribly enthused about many of the wellness programs that are available out there.

Employers who self-fund obviously have more latitude in what they offer employees, and they can adopt a wellness plan that has a realistic potential to show a positive ROI.  I’ve written about the program I call “wellness with teeth” in which employees pay more if they choose not to participate.

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How To Get an Employee Handbook for Nothing

Am I serious?  As serious as a heart attack.  A No-Cost Handbook. But before I tell you about how to get it, I need to remind you of the old sayings about “No such thing as a free lunch,” and “free information is worth what you pay for it.” Read more »

I’d Have Done It for $1M

I just now saw where the State is paying the Canadian contractor who screwed up the Connector Website (you know, the place you go to get taxpayer-subsidized health care) $35M to get out of the contract.

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Find Best Local Rx Prices – For You and Your Employees

And a Money-Saving Health Plan Design Idea

I’ve just run across a fabulous website, at least I think it’s fabulous.

The story of how I found it is interesting.  I cast a pretty wide net to find articles that I think would be useful for you, my clients and prospects.  So I key certain words on Google and look at the results (not as frequently as I should, unfortunately). Read more »