News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/24/2017

The opioid addiction epidemic in the US is even affecting newborns, and one of the states hit hard by the crisis is Colorado. The state's Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that the number of infants born addicted to opioids rose nearly twofold from 2010 to 2015, while nationwide data show a 400% increase in the number of opioid-dependent babies since 2000.

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KDVR-TV (Denver)
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opioid abuse
7/24/2017

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough says some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act violate the Byrd Rule and would require 60 votes to pass, instead of the simple majority Republican leaders are aiming for under reconciliation procedures, and appropriation of cost-sharing reduction payments and a lockout provision for lapsed coverage are among the problematic portions of the bill. GOP leaders announced last week that they plan to vote Tuesday on a procedural motion to kick off debate on health care legislation, but it remains unclear whether they have sufficient votes to advance debate, or which bill they will be voting on.

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Reuters, The Hill, Reuters
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health care reform, GOP, Senate
7/24/2017

A study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found a single measurement of bone mineral density at the femoral neck strongly predicted a risk of hip or nonvertebral fracture over the next 20 to 25 years among women aged 67 years and older, with those in the lowest quartile facing a higher long-term fracture risk. The findings, based on data for the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures cohort of 7,959 women, also showed that a history of nonvertebral fracture was strongly predictive of a woman's risk of fracture.

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femoral neck
7/24/2017

Eating a protein such as meat or cheese with a sugar-sweetened drink may boost fat storage because about one-third of the beverage calories are not used by the body, less fat is broken down and less energy is needed for digestion, USDA researchers reported in BMC Nutrition. The study, which included 27 people, also found the combination may increase cravings for savory and salty foods.

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USDA
7/24/2017

AHIP wrote a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, calling for repeal of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance premium tax and excise tax on the most generous plans as part of congressional tax reform. The health insurance tax, which is set to resume on Jan. 1, has increased health insurance costs by over $100 billion, AHIP said.

7/24/2017

The Arkansas State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board's wellness subcommittee recommended public employees pay higher health insurance premiums if they smoke. The subcommittee said employees should be required to fill out a health questionnaire and submit measures of certain health metrics to avoid a penalty, but they recommended eliminating a requirement for annual doctor visits.

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health insurance premiums
7/24/2017

Companies such as Apsis Labs allow employees to take as much vacation time as they need during the year, with Apsis even requiring its workers to take at least three weeks off each year. "Giving people the time to take breaks and get separation from their company and mentally recharge helps them when they come back to be productive and focused," said Apsis Labs co-founder Noah Callaway.

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Forbes
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Apsis Labs
7/24/2017

Active workstations do not impair most thinking skills employees use to do their jobs effectively, according to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Researchers said active workstations can help reduce the risks of sedentary behavior without negatively affecting executive function.

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HealthDay News
7/24/2017

One-year-olds whose feces had a certain microbiome had improved brain functioning at age 2, compared with those whose feces didn't, researchers reported in the journal Biological Psychiatry. The findings suggest that there may be a way to guide infant gut microbiome development to boost cognitive development and curb autism risk, said researcher Rebecca Knickmeyer.

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HealthDay News
7/24/2017

Food insecurity is a problem at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Portland State University, and while there are food pantries available, choices at the University of Oregon are more limited. One group wants to have the food pantry at St. Mary's Episcopal Church open longer hours and is looking at creating a ride-share service students could use to get to affordable grocery stores off campus.

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Public News Service