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Humana is moving carefully into the consumer directed healthcare arena. It has tested several approaches, including a tiered drug plan involving its own employees.
Benefit costs rose again in the latest quarter and accounted for more than half of the 0.9 percent increase in total compensation costs for civilian workers from March to June 2004, according to the Department of Labor’s latest figures.
In the keynote speech on July 24, the last day of the Consumer-Directed Health conference, J. Edward Hill, MD and president-elect of the American Medical Association, outlined the AMA’s proposed reforms to U.S. health care and fielded questions from the audience of benefits professionals.
Is consumer-driven health the Next Big Thing of the investment world? And if so, what will the market’s reaction mean to the consumers and HR executives directly involved in the plans?
Ahead of key healthcare choice periods in the fall, the IRS issued its long-awaited HSA clarifications. On the whole, they clearly point to the continued desire of officials to encourage HSA adoptions and to insure that all levels of workers shared equally in any employer benefits attached to these accounts.
With the cost of employee benefits rising both in real terms and as a percentage of total salary, corporations in general and small businesses in particular are being increasingly squeezed to find new ways to reduce healthcare contributions.
“You may call me a cockeyed optimist,” said Dr. Rex Cowdry, Associate Director of the White House National Economic Council, “but I think we truly can see significant improvements in U.S. health care in the near future."
Amidst renewed optimism related to profits and sales, the presidents/owners of 2,300 small businesses reported mixed feelings about their healthcare commitment, according to Small Business Digest.
The Consumer-Directed Health Conference 2004 commenced in Chicago with the expertise of different speakers presenting new information regarding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). .
HSAs were boosted with strong support voiced by Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine in that publication’s July 26th issue.
More than 500 business and healthcare professionals are scheduled to meet in Chicago July 21-23 at the Consumer Directed Health Conference.

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