Mental Health & Corporate "Wellth" The high cost of general health care has encouraged greater analyses of chronic and persistent conditions. It is now evident that one cannot successfully (and cost effectively) treat illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, and other conditions without dealing with related (or co-morbid) stress and depression. Return on investment (ROI) analyses show CEO’s that improving corporate mental health that is in their own best interest, the interest of their employees, and the interest of their company. It’s time that this problem is addressed by those who can see the broad picture and understand that mental health means corporate “wellth.”
Save GrandMa, Kill ObamaCare Over the next 10 years, if left unchanged ObamaCare will take $500 billion from Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries will see higher premiums. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medical suppliers will get lower payments. Under ObamaCare Medicare reductions will be used to subsidize expanded Medicaid to low income recipients and to fund insurance for the uninsured. This redistribution of funding from Medicare to other programs is the most controversial part of Health Reform.
Move Over Mom, Here Come ObamacareIn most families Moms are the care givers. They know the right cough medicine, the right dosages, the difference between aspirin and Tylenol, and what to do for their child’s allergies. Most Moms have a box or tray with all kinds of cures for their children. Mom’s “medicine box” is there to fix the middle-of-the-night pains and fevers. God bless Moms. So, what changes under ObamaCare? Effective January 1, 2011 an OTC medication needs a doctor’s prescription to be defined as a qualified medical expense, even if it is otherwise available without a prescription.
Navigating Health Reform Few have read the 2700 page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Even if you have, it is difficult to absorb the full implications of the health reform bill. Each week new regulations are being produced by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), and Treasury. With so much happening so fast how can employers, insurance agents, consultants, lawyers, or insurance companies keep up with decisions to set strategies, make rational choices, and be legally compliant?
Consumerism Post ObamaCare The Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA) allows for continued use of health personal care accounts and expands the rewards and incentives based on health status (outcomes) to 30% of the insurance value for individuals and families. While these insurance options may not be the focus of PPACA, they are allowed with some limitations and a few new restrictions. The type of account(s) to use and how to structure them will depend upon final regulatory guidance and legislative interpretations.
Implementing Healthcare ConsumerismCorporate benefits managers and human resource executives are searching for ways to effectively design and implement health plans to lower costs and improve the quality of care. Wellness and prevention initiatives are being adopted. Disease and condition management programs identify chronically ill populations. Education, communication, and incentives support information on healthy lifestyles and healthy choices. But, healthcare costs continue to rise.
ObamaCare: The Need for Annulment The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) damages both American healthcare and its human capital. For employers healthcare is a maintenance contract for supporting optimal physical and mental functioning of their employees – their human capital. No business would want to turn their equipment maintenance over to the federal government for limited access to repairs, increased fees, higher taxes, and caps on how much can be spent on upkeep.
ObamaCare, Mega Trends, & Consumerism Megatrends represent major movements so powerful that the direction of change cannot be stopped. Federal laws can speed up or slow down megatrend forces. But, like dammed rivers megatrends will redirect themselves to achieve the inevitable result. Healthcare consumerism is such a force.
Time to Listen to Consumers The great frustration for many Americans during the debate on ObamaCare was tone deaf politicians. No one seemed willing to listen to their concerns. Federal deficits, pork-barrel spending, and the cost of healthcare got lost in the push to pass partisan legislation. As we move into the regulatory phase of writing the critical implementation rules, the concern is that Obama-bureaucrats will also ignore the people.
ObamaCare Taxes th Poor at 100% The costs of ObamaCare were to be paid by reductions to Medicare ($500 billion) and taxes on those with high incomes and investments ($500 billion). However, the actuarial and economic analyses don’t take into account the ultimate 100% tax on one’s income – the loss of your job.
Making ObamaCare Work ObamaCare it is now the law of the land. Officially it’s called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It may change with pending constitutional challenges, but the time has come to for broker, employers, and benefit vendors to plan ahead and prepare for a very different future. Individuals and businesses must consider what this legislation means, discover what options they have, and what actions are required under the law.
Tea Party Moms From its early beginnings the Tea Party was dismissed as irrelevant and then derided by the national media. In the summer of 2009 health reform was the hot topic of concern across the nation and to the Tea Party movement. The media, the Obama administration, and Democrats described opposition and questioning Tea Partiers as “mobsters, anti-American, and Nazis.” President Obama referred to them dismissively as “tea baggers.” The New York Times attempted to link Tea Partiers to militia extremists. In the early days of the movement the descriptions did not match the images I was seeing on television.