News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
10/15/2018

The CMS announced Friday that Medicare Part B monthly premiums will increase from $134 this year to $135.50 in 2019 for those with annual income of $85,000 or less, while those with higher incomes will pay more. The annual deductible will increase by $2 to $185 for Part B recipients and by $24 to $1,364 for Part A beneficiaries. Open enrollment starts today.

10/15/2018

HHS Secretary Alex Azar today is set to deliver a speech addressing the administration's efforts to reduce drug prices, and sources say a rule requiring pharmaceutical firms to include drug pricing information in advertisements could be part of the plan. Drugmakers are opposed to the idea, saying it would deter patients from obtaining necessary care and raise legal issues.

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Politico
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Alex Azar, HHS
10/15/2018

Medicare Advantage enrollment is thriving, with sign-ups expected to rise 12% from about 20 million enrollees this year to 23 million for 2019. The CMS said consumers looking at options for 2019 can choose from about 3,700 plans, an increase of 600 from 2018, and low- or no-cost plans are among the options, along with improved benefits.

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Kaiser Health News
10/15/2018

A study published in JAMA Network Open found that from 2007 to 2016, the FDA identified 776 dietary supplements that contained pharmaceuticals, but only 46.4% were linked to a voluntary recall. The most common adulterated supplements were those for sexual enhancement, weight loss and muscle building.

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The Scientist online
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FDA
10/15/2018

More small businesses in Long Island, N.Y., are following the national trend of offering employee health benefits as a way to recruit and retain talent in a tight labor market. K&M Truck Repair was able to recruit workers after offering company-paid long-term disability and life insurance, as well as fully paid health and dental insurance for employees.

10/15/2018

Companies can make health insurance more valuable to their employees by ensuring plans match up with current medical practices and considering the stages or severity of patients' medical conditions, writes Pam Handmaker of Trustmark. Companies should have plans that cover routine testing and procedures, reward good behaviors, and pay claims quickly.

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Trustmark
10/15/2018

People can have different ideas about fitness based on their personal goals, such as running a marathon, or how they want to look, says Shawn Arent, director of the Center for Health and Human Performance at Rutgers University. Arent says some important measures of fitness include aerobic fitness, muscular strength, body composition, power and flexibility.

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Business Insider
10/15/2018

Finnish researchers used a cohort of more than 400,000 patients with and without diabetes and found an increased risk of death caused by accidents, alcohol consumption and suicide among those with any form of diabetes, especially among insulin users, compared with those without the condition. The findings in the European Journal of Endocrinology revealed the importance of assessing mental health and providing support to diabetes patients.

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Medical News Today
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diabetes
10/15/2018

Researchers found an 11% increased risk for type 2 diabetes among people who lived near ready-to-eat food outlets, compared with those who lived in areas more than 1 kilometer away from fast-food outlets. The findings, based on nearly 350,000 individuals across the UK, were published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

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Diabetes (UK)
10/15/2018

A study in Hepatology showed an association between consuming 0.5 to 1.5 alcoholic drinks daily and a reduced risk of overall mortality among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, compared with those who did not drink. The findings, based on 4,568 NAFLD patients from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, showed that consuming at 1.5 or more alcoholic drinks daily had a significant harmful effect after adjusting for age, smoking history and sex.

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fatty liver