Health Estimates
Benefit Advisors


Health Estimates Newswire

Feb. 21, 2019: Driving to Mexico for insulin: Worth the trip?

By Bram Sable-Smith, Side Effects Public Media

When Michelle Fenner signed up to run this year’s Los Angeles Marathon, it got her thinking: Tijuana, Mexico, is only a 2½-hour drive from L.A. Why not take a trip across the border and buy some insulin for her son? “It’s so easy to just go across the border,” mused Fenner. This idea had been in the back of Fenner’s mind for a while. Her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nine years ago, meaning he needs daily injections of insulin to live. The list price of the modern generation of insulin has skyrocketed since his diagnosis. On one trip to the pharmacy last year, Fenner was told that a three-month supply of insulin would cost her $3,700. Read More

Employee wellness programs and compliance: What to know right now

By Brenna Davenport

In 2016, when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its final regulations defining a “voluntary” program under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the entire landscape — at least what can be seen on a hazy day — appeared defined. But thanks to AARP’s successful challenge to these regulations and the EEOC’s recent acknowledgement of the demise of its incentive limitations, employers find themselves back in the “Wild West” of sorts for wellness compliance. Read More

Johnson & Johnson to start listing drug prices in TV ads

By Max Nisen

Trump, in a portion of his speech devoted to health care, called on pharmaceutical companies to reveal “real prices” – presumably a reference to an administration proposal that would require drugmakers to show the full sticker price, or list price, of medicines in TV ads. J&J is jumping the gun, with plans to voluntarily disclose this price in its direct-to-consumer commercials, according to a blog post released Thursday. The company will start with ads for blood thinner Xarelto by late March, and then move on to other medicines. It’s the first drugmaker to announce such a step. Read More

Late crypto exchange founder warned of dangers of losing passwords

By Doug Alexander

(Bloomberg) –Quadriga CX founder Gerry Cotten died in December possibly holding the only keys to C$190 million ($143 million) in cryptocurrencies — but five years ago, he revealed exactly how his digital exchange stored bitcoin for its clients. Read More

Dem proposal: Medicare for ages 50+

By Marlene Satter

Democrats in both the House and Senate have taken a step forward on the Medicare for All issue with a bill that would allow anyone 50 and older to buy in to Medicare. Politico reports that the bill, co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-NY and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-CT, would allow people between ages 50 and 65 to buy a private Medicare plan with the same tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies available on exchanges for the Affordable Care Act. Read More

IRS 'inundated' as it enters tax season, says taxpayer advocate

By Melanie Waddell

The Internal Revenue Service is entering tax season “inundated with correspondence, phone calls, and inventories of unresolved prior-year audits and identity theft cases,” with the agency’s problems exacerbated by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and an antiquated technology system, Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, told Congress on Tuesday. Read More

Will Reg BI preempt state fiduciary rules?

By Nick Thornton

As the Securities and Exchange Commission enters the final stretch in its effort to finalize rules that would elevate and clarify broker-dealers’ and investment advisors’ responsibilities to retail investors, questions are being raised as to how its regulations would coexist with state securities laws. Read More

10 worst states for a financially comfortable retirement

By Marlene Satter

How much are you planning to spend once you retire? Depending on where you end up once you leave the office behind, you could actually be letting yourself in for considerably more expense than you bargained for. Different states have different rules on everything from taxing Social Security (or not) to taxing personal property (or not), and that’s in addition to sales taxes, the local cost of living, how much you might pay for housing and the soaring cost of health care. Read More

Jeff Sopko