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Apr. 25, 2019: 4 parallels between physical and financial well-being

By Peter Waitzman

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my physical well-being over the years, it’s this: There are no shortcuts. There is no fad diet that will make me feel better. There is no innovative workout that will magically transform my body. No, physical well-being is all about persistence, commitment and long-term planning. Does that sound eerily similar to any other topic in the benefits world? Read More

The disruptive health care startups you should be watching

By Dan Cook

Everyone seems to have their favorites. But which horse to back? It’s a tricky business, this founding or funding a health care company, or releasing a new product or service under the auspices of an existing firm. Those employers concerned with health plan design and cost, and the quality of care, want innovators that claim they can lower costs and improve outcomes. But they also want some sort of track record. And many think startups younger than three years are barely worth watching. Read More

Light Bulb Moment Nu mero 7: The role of bilingual supervisors in benefits communication, continued

By Melissa Burkhart

There are a few common benefits questions that might be brought to a bilingual supervisor, rather than to HR or the broker. An employee might simply ask if the supervisor thinks it’s a good idea to cough up the money for the premium for medical insurance. In a worst-case scenario, supervisors will simply say no. They might also be swayed by the political hype of the moment, in which case God only knows what they’ll come up with! Rarely are they able to clarify the risks of being without health insurance in this country. Read More

Culture of collaboration: A Q&A with Valerie Stremsterfer

By Paul Wilson

Valerie Stremsterfer is president of Intrepid, an employee benefits consulting firm that fully integrates benefits knowledge with a comprehensive understanding of legislation, taxes and subsidies. Valerie credits her success to a solid benefits team and culture, and collaboration with her peers. Read More

4 recommendations for combating health care's high administrative costs

By Scott Wooldridge

Payers and providers of health care in the U.S. spend nearly half a trillion dollars each year on billing and insurance costs, half of which is excessive, according to a new study from the Center for American Progress (CAP). The CAP report noted that the U.S. spends 8.3 percent of total health expenditures on administrative costs annually, totaling $496 billion. This is far more than other high-income countries—more than twice as much in most cases. For example, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia all have annual administrative spending of 3 percent or less for health care. The study suggests that a key element of health care administration, billing and insurance-related costs (BIR), has a large role in creating a complex, wasteful health care system. Read More

From smoking pot to political heat, Federal Reserve history yields some gems

By Steve Matthews

(Bloomberg) –The Federal Reserve last week published oral interviews with more than 50 policy makers and staff that were conducted in conjunction with its centennial in 2013. The trove includes conversation with former chairs Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan and Janet Yellen, governors and senior staff, whose recollections span a half century of steering the world’s most powerful central bank. Read More

As 'Medicare for All' plunge continues, analysts tell investors these companies at risk

By Cristin Flanagan

(Bloomberg) –As presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) grabs headlines with his plan for “Medicare for All” and targets doing away with private health insurance, equity analysts have been working overtime to tell investors what companies have the most to lose. Read More

10 productive business projects for rainy days

By Bryce Sanders

Will it ever stop raining? Our rainy summer led into a rainy fall, which turned into a rainy winter. Now it’s a rainy spring. My get-up-and-go got up and left. I still need to bring in business. How can I make today worthwhile? It’s tempting to do vacation research online or see what your friends are up to on Facebook. Read More

Jeff Sopko