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A report covering plan design and legislative changes Volume 51, Number 10
Employers Report Mixed Experiences With Health And Wellness Programs
Employers with onsite health ser-vices tend to be highly satisfied with their investment, reporting that employee participation is high and that these programs have contributed significantly to employee health and productivity; however, employers report less satisfaction with other wellness initiatives, according to a survey conducted by human resources consultancy Hewitt Associates.
“Companies have implemented a number of health and wellness programs over the past few years aimed at improving employee health, increasing worker productivity, and reducing health care costs, but low participation levels and employer satisfaction rates suggest that many of these initiatives are not resulting in the outcomes employers had expected,” said Marie Kobos, leader of Hewitt’s health and productivity solutions group.
Retirement Plan Rollovers Fuel IRA Asset Growth
Hitting a record $4.75 trillion, assets held in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) grew 12.5% in 2007, representing the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in IRA assets, according to a study published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
Health Insurance Must Balance Moral Hazard And Health Security
Health insurance differs from other types of insurance; not only does it protect against catastrophic financial losses, but it also promotes ongoing health security. Policymakers and plan sponsors must consider these disparate priorities when planning their approaches to providing health care coverage to Americans, an issue brief published by the American Academy of Actuaries has recommended.
In a report prepared by the American Academy of Actuaries’ Uninsured Work Group, researchers outlined traditional definitions of what constitutes “insurance” and compared current forms of health care coverage to these models.
When designing health care policies and plans, consideration should be given to the principles of random loss and economic feasibility, the authors advised. They pointed out that, while roughly 10% of auto insurance policyholders and 6% of homeowners insurance policyholdersfile claims in a given year, more than 80% of people with health insurance file claims annually. Because comprehensive benefit coverage lowers the cost to the insured,
many individuals use more services than they would if they were paying the full cost themselves, a problem sometimes referred to as “moral hazard.”
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