News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
6/22/2017

A study published in the journal Obesity found children were 33% less likely to be obese at ages 2 to 4 if their fathers frequently helped them with tasks such as brushing their teeth or getting dressed. Researchers said the risk of childhood obesity dropped by 30% for each one-category increase in the frequency that dads took their children out for walks or for play.

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Obesity
6/22/2017

Draft recommendations from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continue to advise against the use of live-attenuated influenza vaccine during the 2017-2018 flu season. Vaccination rates among US youths ages 6 months to 17 years remained similar between the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 flu seasons despite the ACIP's reversal on LAIV use last season, said Dr. Lisa Grohskopf of the CDC's Influenza Division.

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CDC, flu, ACIP, Advisory Committee
6/22/2017

Canakinumab, a Novartis anti-inflammatory drug approved to treat rare autoimmune conditions, reduced the occurrence of heart attack and stroke in heart attack survivors when used in combination with other therapies in a clinical trial, the drugmaker said.

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Reuters
6/22/2017

A letter from 10 health insurance company executives warns Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that a proposed restructuring of Medicaid spending shifts large portions of program spending to states, potentially forcing tax increases, reduced benefits, lower reimbursements and a rollback in coverage. Leaders from AmeriHealth Caritas, Molina Healthcare, Blue Shield of California and New York's Healthfirst were among those who signed the letter.

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health insurance
6/22/2017

Senate health care legislation that is scheduled to be unveiled today will likely continue cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers through 2019 and could include a four-year reinsurance program for individual health insurance markets, sources say. The bill is expected to provide subsidies to people making up to 350% of the federal poverty limit, down from the current 400%, but including those under 100% of the limit who are not covered under Affordable Care Act.

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Axios
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health insurance
6/22/2017

Premiums for silver-tier plans, the most popular plan tier sold on Affordable Care Act exchanges, are expected to rise an average of 18% for next year, while the number of US counties with a single insurer offering plans will grow to 41% from 33% in 2016, according to an Avalere analysis of 2018 rate requests in eight states. Uncertainty surrounding the ACA's future, cost-sharing reduction payments, risk mitigation programs and other factors played a role in the premium hikes, according to the analysis.

6/22/2017

Washington state Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, has introduced legislation that would relax requirements for health plans in rural counties with one or fewer insurers offering public exchange plans. The bill would make it easier for insurers to sell catastrophic plans, eliminate the need to offer silver and gold plans in counties with a single insurer, and extend the filing deadline for counties with no health plan options on exchanges.

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Rep. James Walsh, Washington
6/22/2017

The American Heart Association said 10,000 cardiac arrests occur each year in the workplace, but study data show most US employees do not have access to CPR, first aid or defibrillator training. The AHA study found that among work sites that have an automated external defibrillator, 50% of employees did not know where it was located.

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CPR, American Heart Association
6/22/2017

Interest in financial wellness has spiked over the past several years, driven by employee stress and employer realization that stress is a drain on everyone, MetLife's Jeff Tulloch said at the Society for Human Resource Management's annual meeting. Former Google/Alphabet vice president Lazlo Bock said employers can give workers a nudge in the right direction, which can apply to making healthy choices, but the trick is not to micro-manage.

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Workforce online
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SHRM, Lazlo Bock, MetLife
6/22/2017

At least six state Medicaid programs received offers of rebates from Mylan on the condition that competitors' epinephrine auto-injectors be covered only upon special requests by clinicians, according to e-mail communications.

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Medicaid, EpiPen, epinephrine, Mylan