Employers offering more financial advice | Survey: 23% of large employers tie incentives to wellness programs | Analysis cites overall health benefits of walking groups
January 20, 2015
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
Employers offering more financial advice
More than 90% of employers intend to enhance their financial wellness services, going beyond retirement planning, according to an Aon Hewitt survey. Such services include advice for employees on how to budget, as well as how to save money to buy a home or pay for a child's college education. Money magazine (1/19)
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Survey: 23% of large employers tie incentives to wellness programs
The proportion of large employers who say they offer incentives through wellness programs increased to 23% last year, according to a study by Mercer. Nearly half of employers said they plan to add results-based incentives to their wellness programs by 2017, according to a separate study by Towers Watson. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (1/18)
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Get It Right: Pricing Strategies That Work
Many entrepreneurs hope for success by offering low prices, while in fact most world-class entrepreneurs succeed by setting higher prices. If you're not exactly sure which pricing strategy will work for your business, these 6 steps can help you set your company's prices for success. Read the exclusive article now.

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Analysis cites overall health benefits of walking groups
Adults who joined outdoor walking groups exhibited better overall health and had lower odds of depression than those who did not, an analysis in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says. The results suggest that physicians should recommend such activity to bolster patients' health, researchers said. DailyRx.com (1/20)
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How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Health News & Research
WHO: Premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases must be addressed
Millions of people younger than 70 are dying from noncommunicable diseases such as heart and lung disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, says the World Health Organization. WHO recommends that governments restrict tobacco and alcohol advertising and trans fats while encouraging healthful diets and physical activity. The majority of such deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Voice of America (1/19)
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Guidance calls for obesity-first treatment strategy
Physicians should treat patients' weight problems first and then focus on related issues such as cholesterol, hypertension and glucose tolerance, according to a guidance report in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Lead author Dr. Caroline Apovian of Boston University said this paradigm focuses on lifestyle change and medications, followed by the treatment of co-morbidities that have not responded to weight-loss strategies. Medscape (free registration) (1/16)
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U.S. sees decline in birth defects after folic acid fortification
Folic acid fortification resulted in a 35% decline in serious birth defects among U.S. infants, according to a CDC report. However, researchers said more work is needed to promote fortification because many women do not get their recommend daily intake of folic acid. USA Today (1/16)
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Study: Children eat more calories, fat on pizza days
Children and adolescents who eat pizza consume more calories, saturated fat and sodium on that day than on days when pizza is not served, George Washington University researchers reported in Pediatrics. Study data showed that children ate pizza for dinner less often, but lunch consumption remained about the same during the study period of 2003 to 2010. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1/19)
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Study: Couples see greater success in adopting healthy habits
Adults who adopt healthy lifestyle changes may be more successful if their similarly unhealthy partner also makes the change, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers from the U.K. found half of smokers quit after their partner also kicked the habit, compared with 8% of those who tried it alone. About two-thirds of sedentary adults became active when their partner did the same, compared with about 25% of those who tried on their own. HealthDay News (1/19)
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Schools & Community
N.J. lawmakers consider bills to expand students' access to school breakfast
Two bills under consideration by New Jersey lawmakers would expand students' access to breakfast at school. Under one bill, a breakfast kiosk or cart program would be piloted. Under the other measure, schools would be eligible for additional funding if they participate in the federal school breakfast program. PolitickerNJ.com (1/15)
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Wellness Industry Developments
Join the discussions at the National Health Policy Conference
AHIP's National Health Policy Conference, March 11 and 12, 2015, in Washington, D.C., is one-stop shopping for those seeking insights on the latest policy developments and trends shaping health care. Register now.
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HSA Direct – Showcasing AHIP's financial institution members
With the popularity and growth of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), HSA Direct allows health insurance plans to easily and quickly access information about AHIP financial institution members. Optum Bank, Member FDIC, an HSA Direct member, administers health savings accounts (HSAs) for over 1,000,000 individuals and families covered by employer-sponsored or individually purchased health plans. Learn more
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Commercial Health Insurance StrategistAmerican Academy of Family PhysiciansLeawood, KS
Click here to view more job listings.
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."
-- John F. Kennedy,
35th U.S. president
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Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AHIP endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AHIP.
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