Humana Launching Diabetic Supply Service for Medicare Part B Participants

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)--Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) announced today that its RightSource mail order pharmacy service is now offering diabetic supplies directly to qualified Medicare Part B beneficiaries*, including both Humana Medicare members and non-members enrolled in Medicare Part B. The service includes home delivery of blood glucose meters, test strips, lancets and all other supplies necessary for diabetics to manage their blood sugar levels.

“Since we created RightSource, our team has demonstrated its ability to deliver outstanding customer service, help people get better health outcomes and achieve lifelong well-being.”

In addition to simple, straightforward ordering processes and best-available pricing, RightSource will offer diabetics more than 200 diabetes-certified pharmacists to answer questions and advise diabetics about their supply needs.

“This is an exciting day for all of us at RightSource and Humana because of what this represents for Humana members and non-members who will benefit from this new service,” said William Fleming, vice president of Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “Since we created RightSource, our team has demonstrated its ability to deliver outstanding customer service, help people get better health outcomes and achieve lifelong well-being.”

RightSource offers its customers free shipping, no Medicare claim forms, automatic refill reminders and easy ordering online or by calling 855-569-1542. With distribution centers in Ohio and Arizona, RightSource can quickly deliver orders to customers’ homes.

Following the growth of Humana’s Medicare membership, RightSource has grown significantly in recent years – now serving approximately 600,000 plan members in all 50 states and Puerto Rico – making it one of the largest mail-order pharmacies in the country. Today’s announcement represents RightSource’s first service offering available to both Humana members and non-members (who are enrolled in Medicare Part B).

* In accordance with Medicare regulations

About Humana Pharmacy Solutions

Humana Pharmacy Solutions, a division of Humana Inc., manages traditional pharmacy benefits with member-focused strategies to yield savings in pharmacy and total health expense. Providing prescription coverage for both individuals and employer groups, Humana Pharmacy Solutions strives to give members access to the medicine they need while offering guidance on clinically proven, therapeutically equivalent drugs that bring better value to the member and the customer.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.

 

HealthAmerica Joins with CaféWell as First Health Insurer in Pennsylvania to Use Full Social-Media Platform

PITTSBURGH & HARRISBURG, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HealthAmerica announced today the expansion of its social networking community devoted solely to the health and well-being of its members through a relationship with CaféWell. CaféWell is a social media company changing the way millions of people manage their health by making it easy, productive and rewarding. This union is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, pioneering HealthAmerica in social media within the health insurance industry.

“We know that social networking has the power to connect people like never before”

As part of the engagement strategy to connect to members, CaféWell’s parent company, WellTok Inc., created a new mobile application, allowing instant connection of individuals with similar user profiles and access to health information, healthy recipes and wellness challenges.

HealthAmerica has been piloting the CaféWell program with several of its large accounts since January and is launching CaféWell to all commercial group and individual plan members starting September 1, 2011.

“We know that social networking has the power to connect people like never before,” said Mary Lou Osborne, chief operating officer for HealthAmerica. “HealthAmerica is committed to creating positive associations with health and wellness, encouraging healthy and active behavior, and promoting member engagement and satisfaction. Offering this medium is one way we are trying to create an alignment with our members’ current and future needs.”

CaféWell provides consumers with a single online destination for all their health-related needs, including social networking, expert advice, fun challenges and reliable information. Unlike general social networking sites, CaféWell allows users to control the degree to which their identity is shared, with complete anonymity as the default. To inspire and motivate, CaféWell rewards active users with profile badges, and prizes such as gift cards, iPods and fitness-related items.

With CaféWell HealthAmerica members can:

  • Talk privately about their health concerns.
  • Chat anonymously and securely in discussion groups about chronic conditions and health issues.
  • Get answers from discussion group experts on popular topics like diet, exercise, how to get a good’s night sleep, and when to give your child antibiotics, to name a few.
  • Earn reward points for prizes, while reaching personal goals in individual or group challenges with friends and family.
  • Connect to an extensive collection of health care articles and other resources continuously updated and added by a team of experts.

New mobile application adds convenience for members on the go

CaféWell’s new mobile application makes it more convenient for consumers to manage their health while on the go. Using their iPhones®, members can:

  • Log their activity toward a challenge, before leaving the running trail, gym or yoga studio.
  • Check CaféWell’s leader boards to see who’s making the most progress on each challenge.
  • See what CaféWell friends are doing online, from posting comments, to logging activity, to making new connections.
  • Read and respond to private messages from CaféWell friends.
  • Check their CaféWell Points, which are redeemable for prizes and discounts.

“In today’s world, everyone uses their smart phones and other social media avenues,” said Osborne. “HealthAmerica understands the growing presence of social media in the marketplace and realizes the need for this type of technological advance as a member touch point.”

About HealthAmerica

With over 35 years of providing health care benefits, HealthAmerica has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted and experienced health insurers in Pennsylvania. The company ranks 14th in the nation for HMO and POS plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, and its Medicare plan ranks 28th nationally. It has ranked among the top health plans by NCQA for six consecutive years. HealthAmerica provides a range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products, including self-funded, Medicare, Medicaid, indemnity, nongroup, and pharmacy plans. It currently has “Excellent” accreditation by the NCQA for its commercial HMO, POS, and Medicare plans. HealthAmerica’s corporate offices are in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit HealthAmerica’s website at www.healthamerica.cvty.com.

About CaféWell

CaféWell is changing the way millions of people manage their health, through Social Health Management™. The company leverages social media to make health management simple, productive and rewarding. CaféWell provides an online home for health-related social networking, expert advice, fun challenges and reliable information. The ultimate goal is better health, whether someone is coping with a chronic disease, caring for a loved one or just staying fit. Users control the degree to which their identity is shared, with complete anonymity as the default. CaféWell partners with health plans, giving them a neutral, online space to more effectively engage members, reward healthy living and gain timely, actionable insights – aggregated to protect member confidentiality. To learn more about CaféWell and Social Health Management™, visit www.cafewell.com or call 888.935.5865

 

Bundled Payments initiative is being launched by the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new initiative to help improve care for patients while they are in the hospital and after they are discharged. Doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can now apply to participate in a new program known as the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative (Bundled Payments initiative). Made possible by the Affordable Care Act, it will align payments for services delivered across an episode of care, such as heart bypass or hip replacement, rather than paying for services separately.  Bundled payments will give doctors and hospitals new incentives to coordinate care, improve the quality of care and save money for Medicare.

“Patients don’t get care from just one person – it takes a team, and this initiative will help ensure the team is working together,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “The Bundled Payments initiative will encourage doctors, nurses and specialists to coordinate care. It is a key part of our efforts to give patients better health, better care, and lower costs.”

In Medicare currently, hospitals, physicians and other clinicians who provide care for beneficiaries bill and are paid separately for their services.  This Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative will bundle care for a package of services patients receive to treat a specific medical condition during a single hospital stay and/or recovery from that stay – this is known as an episode of care.  By bundling payment across providers for multiple services, providers will have a greater incentive to coordinate and ensure continuity of care across settings, resulting in better care for patients.  Better coordinated care can reduce unnecessary duplication of services, reduce preventable medical errors, help patients heal without harm, and lower costs.

The Bundled Payments initiative is being launched by the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center), which was created by the Affordable Care Act to carry out the critical task of finding new and better ways to provide and pay for health care to a growing population of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

Released today, the Innovation Center’s Request for Applications (RFA) outlines four broad approaches to bundled payments.  Providers will have flexibility to determine which episodes of care and which services will be bundled together.  By giving providers the flexibility to determine which model of bundled payments works best for them, it will be easier for providers of different sizes and readiness to participate in this initiative.

“This Bundled Payment initiative responds to the overwhelming calls from the hospital and physician communities for a flexible approach to patient care improvement,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D. “All around the country, many of the leading health care institutions have already implemented these kinds of projects and seen positive results.”

The Bundled Payments initiative is based on research and previous demonstration projects that suggest this approach has tremendous potential. For example, a Medicare heart bypass surgery bundled payment demonstration saved the program $42.3 million, or roughly 10 percent of expected costs, and saved patients $7.9 million in coinsurance while improving care and lowering hospital mortality.

“From a patient perspective, bundled payments make sense.  You want your doctors to collaborate more closely with your physical therapist, your pharmacist and your family caregivers.  But that sort of common sense practice is hard to achieve without a payment system that supports coordination over fragmentation and fosters the kinds of relationships we expect our health care providers to have,” said Dr. Berwick.

Organizations interested in applying to the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) no later than September 22, 2011 for Model 1 and November 4, 2011 for Models 2, 3, and 4.

Value-Based Benefit Designs Improve Community Health Value in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO and ST. LOUIS August 18, 2011 To reinforce the importance of engaging a community to lower health care costs and improve health and economic sustainability, the Center for Health Value Innovation (CHVI) has chronicled the efforts of three Colorado Springs employers that worked together to change how they were contracting for health. An organization devoted to health improvement through action, innovation and cost containment, CHVI has released a case study report to support other communities in implementing value-based benefit design, quality improvement and Outcomes-Based Contracting™ (aligning employee incentives to improve outcomes from health systems, drive higher value and offer better choices of providers).

“For the first time, we detail the thinking and benefit design changes that moved a community from waste reduction (use of inappropriate services, lack of medication adherence) through risk management (identifying gaps in care or under-managed conditions) and building individual and corporate accountability in purchasing health care services,” said Cyndy Nayer, CHVI President and CEO. “We detail the focus of the three employers, demonstrating the designs that drove success, so that other communities can follow the pathway to improved health and cost containment by focusing on engagement and health outcomes.”

The report highlights the efforts of three Colorado Business Group on Health (CBGH) members, the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs School District 11 and Colorado Springs Utilities, over a five year period to improve population health and contain health cost inflation. The Colorado Springs employers measured the risk to their employees and their corporations, and then prioritized their individual efforts to change how they were contracting for health care with their plans and providers. The result was the collective influence of improved health care management in their city. Important to their success, they not only secured reduction in costs for prevention, wellness, and chronic care management, they also installed incentives for minimally invasive procedures and improvement in health care quality.

The success of these employer programs reinforces a key CHVI principle – lasting value in health improvement is driven at the community level with multi-stakeholder engagement. By highlighting the efforts and results of these employers who came together to implement value-based benefit design, other companies can learn how to build healthier businesses, healthier communities and healthier people.

CHVI has followed the efforts in Colorado Springs, documenting the maturation of the four-step process of value-based benefit design chronicled by CHVI: data, design, delivery and dividends. Levers – which include insurance plan incentives (i.e. providing a premium discount for completing a health risk assessment), stand-alone incentives and disincentives (such as a reduction in co-pays for appropriate surgical procedures, or an out-of-pocket increase to reduce use of emergency departments instead of primary care clinicians or urgent care centers) – are used for better performance and are fundamental to Outcomes-Based Contracting and building engagement across stakeholders, including consumers.

“We knew we needed to address wellness in particular, since national studies indicate that 70% of health care cost is attributable to life style, said Tamara Kirk, HR Supervisor-Benefits, Colorado Spring Utilities, and CBGH Board Chair. “As we do these types of programs collaboratively, we engage other stakeholders and create reform in our local health care system, while at the same time leveraging employers’ purchasing power.”

About the Center for Health Value Innovation (CHVI)

CHVI (501c3) is focused on the pursuit of innovation in benefit designs that improve engagement, accelerate accountability and create a predictable health cost trend. CHVI members represent over 60 million lives from all market segments in the health value supply chain, sharing the evidence of improved health and economic outcomes through value-based designs, including the Outcomes-Based Contracting™ platform for accelerating meaningful change. The Center for Health Value Innovation’s goal is to improve the health of people, organizations and communities throughout the U.S.  www.vbhealth.org

 

CIGNA Says Health Assessment and Coaching Are Key to Reducing Health Risks

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., August 16, 2011 – CIGNA said today its proprietary research shows 66 percent of high-risk individuals and 31 percent of all individuals reduced their health risks after completing the company’s health assessment and using its health coaching programs. By reducing their health risks, individuals are less likely to face future health problems and higher health care costs.

These findings come as CIGNA (NYSE:CI) and the University of Michigan have agreed to extend the health service company’s exclusive license to use the university’s Trend Management System and risk clustering algorithms for three years. CIGNA retains the right for continuous options to renew in the future.

Based on more than 30 years of research conducted by Professor Dee W. Edington, Ph.D., and researchers at the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, the Trend Management System analyzes an individual’s responses to health risk questions and determines with 83 percent accuracy how likely that individual is to face health problems that could lead to high health care costs in the next two to three years. This predictive model helps encourage individuals to focus on improving their health and enables employers to tailor workplace health and wellness programs to meet the specific needs of their employees.

“Most health plans offer a health assessment, but no other health plan has a license to use the University of Michigan’s Trend Management System and its risk-clustering algorithms,” said Jeff Kang, M.D., CIGNA’s chief medical officer. “This exclusive arrangement puts CIGNA in a unique position to help employers make sound decisions about their workplace wellness strategies while helping individuals understand where they have the greatest opportunity to reduce their risks and improve their overall health.”

“From the time we first started to collaborate five years ago, CIGNA recognized the Trend Management System’s potential to affect people’s lives,” Edington said. “I’m pleased our research is being put to practical use to help people reduce their risks and improve their health and productivity. It makes all those years of research and development worthwhile.”

By combining the risk identification capabilities of the Trend Management System with CIGNA’s health coaching capabilities, CIGNA is able to engage people in improving their health before they begin to incur high medical costs. CIGNA links its health risk assessment and the Trend Management System to the company’s proprietary online health coaching programs for sleep, stress, nutrition and physical activity. Based on their specific results, some individuals are invited to participate in one or more online coaching programs, while others may be invited to participate in one-on-one coaching or counseling.

CIGNA and the University of Michigan also have extended their agreement to collaborate on workplace health and productivity research for another three years. Researchers have studied which risk factors have the most impact on future costs and productivity; the potential correlation between health assessment responses and future disability claims; and which “dangerous combinations” of risks might be early indicators of disease onset.

About CIGNA

CIGNA (NYSE: CI) is a global health service and financial company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation’s operating subsidiaries in the United States provide an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance. CIGNA maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions and has approximately 66 million customer relationships throughout the world. All products and services are provided exclusively by such operating subsidiaries and not by CIGNA Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Life Insurance Company of North America, CIGNA Life Insurance Company of New York, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. To learn more about CIGNA, visit www.cigna.com.

 

New Partnership Creates Model for People to Create Exercise Challenges

SEATTLE, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Tango Card™ (provider of the all-in-one gift card and innovative mobile and collaborative gift card apps) and Earndit (provider of a rewards program for exercising) announce the launch of their group challenge platform.

The online health and wellness space is a very hot category. Earndit has created a system that automatically monitors any workouts you do with an approved fitness app like Nike+, Garmin or RunKeeper and gives you points based on how much you exercise. These points are then used to buy rewards through their site. They’ve now taken the concept a step further. “Just this month we rolled out a feature called Challenges that allows people to create private fitness challenges among a group of friends or co-workers,” says Andres Moran, co-founder and CEO of Earndit. “Tango Card’s comprehensive offering is a perfect prize for these group challenges. They provide a great product which is simple to use and understand, and is backed by world-class mobile apps,” Andres goes on to say.

Creating a challenge on Earndit couldn’t be easier. You simply choose how much the per-person entry fee will be, set the rules of the challenge and then invite others either by inputting their email addresses or sharing a custom link on Twitter or Facebook, Once the challenge ends, the winner is emailed a Tango Card in the amount of the sum of the entry fees (minus Earndit’s 10% service fee).

“Earndit has tapped into a massive opportunity in a compelling way and at a time where all of the technology and devices support such an ambitious company,” states David Leeds, Founder and CEO of Tango Card. “Earndit is a cool company, they have a great team, and we are thrilled to work with them to make these group and social challenges a huge success.”

About Tango Card

Tango Card has created the ultimate universal gift card which is available through large proprietary channels and has pioneered the mobile gift card wallet™ available on all iOS and Android devices. From its inception, Tango Card was the first company to focus exclusively on helping consumers use all of the value on their gift cards. To learn more, visithttp://www.tangocard.com or follow at http://www.twitter.com/tangocard.

About Earndit

Earndit has created a system that gives people immediate rewards for exercise. Their hope is to foster a more active lifestyle in each individual, and in turn play a role in improving the health of its users.

 

Aetna Launches New Mobile Health Care Tools For Doctors

Tampa, Fla., August 11, 2011 — Doctors participating in Aetna’s Florida network have two new tools in their virtual black bags: alerts to opportunities to improve care and e-prescribing services through a smartphone or tablet. 

The mobile alerts and e-prescribing services, supported by NaviNet Mobile Connect, are available at no cost to doctors participating in Aetna’s network.

Mobile technology is changing the way doctors deliver care. According to a 2010 study by Manhattan Research, by 2012, 81 percent of doctors will have adopted smartphones, and about half of this group will use their devices to support everyday administrative tasks in addition to coordinating patient care.

The new services enable doctors to access medical literature and clinical and patient information from Aetna’s claims while the doctors are with their patients. As a result, the quality and safety of care improves because doctors can:

  • Identify safety issues, such as medications that should not be taken at the same time
  • Talk with their patients about any missed test or checkups
  • Talk with their patients about care management programs that could help improve their health and help them understand how to enroll
  • Simplify and speed prescription orders, making it easier for members to pick up prescriptions immediately following their appointment, which helps ensure patients take the medications

“Access to patient and clinical information is critical for doctors to deliver high-quality, effective care. That’s why we’re putting integrated information into doctors’ hands when it’s most effective – when the doctor is in the exam room with the patient,” said Bob Kropp, M.D., regional medical director for Aetna.

How it works
ActiveHealth Management’s CareEngine® System reviews the available clinical data on patients and compares it to evidence-based guidelines. Doctors in Aetna’s Florida network who subscribe to NaviNet Mobile Connect will now receive Care Considerations, or alerts to opportunities to improve care, on their mobile device. The alerts currently are delivered by email, phone and fax. Doctors can discuss the alert during the patient visit and instantly notify the CareEngine that an action has been taken to close the gap in care.

The e-prescribing service not only speeds prescription orders, but also provides information about medications and patients’ health plan benefits. The integrated information helps doctors and patients have more effective discussions about treatment plans.

Aetna offers a variety of tools and capabilities that help health care professionals work more easily with Aetna and to care for their patients. Aetna’s full suite of provider solutions, including mobile-enabled information, helps doctors make immediate, more informed health care decisions.

About Aetna
Aetna (NYSE:AET) is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.5 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

 

CDHP Enrollees More Educated, Healthier, and Higher-Income Than Those in Traditional Health Plans

WASHINGTON—In the 10 years that consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have existed they have tended to attract participants who are better educated, healthier, and have higher incomes than people in traditional health plans, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). But in recent years, the income differences have begun to narrow.

For instance, EBRI found that in 2005 CDHP enrollees were more likely than traditional plan enrollees to have household income of $150,000 or more, but by 2010 this was no longer the case. In 2010, CDHP enrollees were more likely to have household income of $50,000‒$100,000, but were not more likely to have household income of $100,000 or more.

Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI’s Health Research and Education Program and author of the report, said other than for these factors, there are no clear demographic differences between enrollees in consumer-driven health plans and traditional health plans.

The findings are published in the May 2011 EBRI Notes, “Characteristics of the CDHP Population, 2005−2010,” and are available on line at www.ebri.org  The data come from the 2005‒2007 EBRI/Commonwealth Fund Consumerism in Health Care Survey and the 2008‒2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey.

Employment-based health benefits are the most common form of health insurance in the United States, but skyrocketing health expenses have forced employers to seek ways to control their costs. Starting in 2001, employers started offering account-based health plans—a combination of health plans with deductibles of at least $1,000 for employee-only coverage and tax-preferred savings or spending accounts that workers and their families can use to pay their out-of-pocket health care expenses. These health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are collectively known as “consumer-driven” health plans, and are designed to give workers more control over how they pay for their health coverage.

Other findings in the EBRI report:

  • Educational Level: CDHP and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees have consistently reported higher education levels than traditional plan enrollees.
  • Age: In most years of the survey, both the CDHP and HDHP populations were less likely to be young (ages 21‒34) than the population with traditional coverage. However, in 2010, both the CDHP and HDHP populations were more likely to be ages 35‒44. There were no differences in the portion ages 45‒54 and no recent differences in the portion ages 55‒64.
  • Health Status: CDHP enrollees have consistently reported better health status than traditional plan enrollees. They have also exhibited better health behavior than traditional plan enrollees with respect to smoking, exercise, and, recently, obesity rates. HDHP enrollees have also been consistently less likely than those with traditional coverage to report that they smoke, but no recent differences were found in exercise rates and differences have never been found in obesity rates. It cannot be determined from the survey whether plan design had an impact on health status, smoking, exercise, or obesity rates.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington, DC, that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues. EBRI does not lobby and does not take policy positions.

Source: EBRI

Lockton expert testified on Capitol Hill; most employers to continue health insurance

(Kansas City, MO) 1 Aug 2011 – Employers, according to Lockton Benefit Group president Michael Brewer, are remarkably committed to their employees. So much so, says Brewer, that even amidst the uncertainty of health reform and the opening of new insurance exchanges in 2014, most of Lockton’s clients who offer health coverage today plan to continue to offer group health insurance. However, the costs and administrative burdens of health reform could cause these same businesses to cut full-time jobs or limit their abilities to expand. That’s exactly what Brewer told lawmakers in Washington D.C. on July 28, 2011 while speaking at a hearing on the impact of last year’s healthcare reform law, for a Subcommittee of the Oversight and Governance Reform Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brewer testified that while more than 80 percent of employers responding to a recent Lockton survey about health reform indicated they would like to continue to offer group insurance, these employers still struggle with the cost and complexity of group plan administration, and that thus far the healthcare reform law has increased-not mitigated-costs and administrative burdens. Brewer told Congress, “One of our employers simply stated, ‘We operate our business on paper-thin margins and any additional government mandated costs will force us to either close the business or reduce the hours of our full-time employees.’ Now we know this is not the intent of health reform, but this is the result of health reform and this is the reality of health reform for many employers: job loss and reduction in employment opportunities,” said Brewer.

Only about 20 percent of employers, the Lockton survey indicated, will consider terminating their group health plans when the insurance exchanges open in 2014. But Brewer told the subcommittee that the other 80 percent overwhelmingly said the reason for their current commitment is a belief that they must offer health insurance to attract and retain the kind of employees they need. Brewer said that as the dominoes begin to fall-as other employers exit the group health marketplace, and this 80 percent of employers that now say they plan to continue to offer coverage begin to see that they do not have to offer health insurance to attract and retain the talent they want-there is likely to be a more substantial migration of employers out of the group insurance market. Brewer warned Congress that this could significantly skew Congressional Budget Office estimates on the number of Americans who are expected to seek federal subsidies to purchase insurance in the new insurance exchanges.

Click to review Brewer’s written testimony, provided in advance to the House Subcommittee, or click to view avideo of the Committee hearing (Brewer’s testimony begins at 34 minutes into the hearing.)

Click to view more informationabout Lockton’s employer survey results.

# # #

About Lockton

More than 4,100 professionals at Lockton provide more than 15,000 clients around the world with insurance,benefits, and risk managementservices, offering an uncommon level of client service. From its founding in 1966 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Lockton has grown to become the largest privately held insurance broker in the world and 9th largest overall. Independent researcher Greenwich Associates awarded Lockton its 2011 Service Excellence Award for risk management for large companies.  Business Insurancehas twice recognized Lockton as a “Best Place to Work in Insurance.” You can learn more at www.lockton.com

 

Health Savings Accounts Rise to More Than $11.7 Billion in Total Deposits in June

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) rose to more than $11.7 Billion in June according to a survey and resulting research report conducted by Devenir, an investment firm that specializes in providing investment options for HSAs.

“As we continue to conduct the survey we are finding interesting data points on the HSA marketplace that have not been previously reported at an industry level”

The survey data was collected in July, 2011 and primarily consisted of the top 50 custodians in the health savings account market, with all data being collected for the June 30th period. “As we continue to conduct the survey we are finding interesting data points on the HSA marketplace that have not been previously reported at an industry level,” says Eric Remjeske President and Co-Founder of Devenir.

Key Findings from the Devenir June 2011 survey and research report:

  • Rapid growth. HSAs continue to see strong growth as the total number of HSA accounts rose to 6.3 million with assets totaling $11.7 billion, a year over year increase of 28% for accounts and a 31% increase in assets, as well as 17% growth in assets so far in 2011.
  • Largest custodians hold significant market share. The top 5 custodians hold over $5.3 billion in HSA assets amongst almost 2.7 million accounts, accounting for 45% of all HSA assets.
  • Average account balance grows. The average account balance in 2011 grew to $1,845 from $1,640 at the end 2010, a 12.5% increase. When you eliminate identified zero balance accounts that average rises to $2,016.
  • Contributions and Withdrawals. HSA custodians retained 20% of customer contributions over the past year1.
  • HSA investment dollars continue to grow. HSA investment assets reached an estimated $860 million in June, a 60% year over year increase and are projected to reach $9.1 billion by end of 2015. The average investment account holder has a $12,462 average total balance (Deposit and investment account).

“The industry continues to see strong growth as both employers and individuals recognize the financial and consumer benefits of an HSA,” according to Jon Robb, Lead Research Associate with Devenir. Devenir projects the HSA market to reach $47.3 billion in assets by the end of 2015, a 37% CAGR over the next five years2. Devenir also projects that HSA investment dollars will continue to grow quickly as health savings account user’s balances become larger, representing 19% of all HSA assets by the end of 2015.

1 Estimate derived from Midyear 2011 Devenir HSA survey, press releases, previous market research, and market growth rates.

2 CAGR stands for Compound Annual Growth Rate. Projections are barring any dramatic regulatory or market environment changes.

Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions based on historical growth, the economy and other future conditions and forecasts of future events, circumstances and results. As with any projection or forecast, they are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and changes in circumstances.

About Devenir

Devenir, a full-service broker dealer and registered investment advisor based in Minneapolis, is a national leader in providing customized investment solutions to the HSA Custodian marketplace. As an independent investment firm, Devenir offers a host of investment options to suit the unique needs of employers, banks, third party administrators and plan participants. Devenir provides user-friendly and cost-effective investment platforms by integrating quality investment choices with streamlined administrative processing. This solution allows any bank or third party administrator to attach a robust back-end investment option to most health benefit plans.