Tech companies use well-being perks to attract employees | Companies try auto-enrolling new workers in 401(k) plans | Exercise may extend lifespan of older people, study finds
March 8, 2019
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief
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Wellness Programs & Trends
Tech companies use well-being perks to attract employees
Benefits offered at Chicago-area technology companies that are seeking employees who can make a big impact focus on well-being and financial wellness, along with traditional medical and dental benefits. FourKites has an on-site gym and health and wellness advisers, HealthJoy has flexible paid time off and parental leave, and ActiveCampaign has a family planning assistance program.
Built In Chicago (3/6) 
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Companies try auto-enrolling new workers in 401(k) plans
Benefits experts say companies are helping workers save for retirement by automatically enrolling new employees in 401(k) plans. Keith Mason of Newell Brands said company data show few workers opt out of the program and employees thought it showed the company cared about them.
Employee Benefit News (free registration) (3/7) 
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Fitness
Exercise may extend lifespan of older people, study finds
Researchers recruited more than 6,500 people, ages 70 and older, and found that those who were most physically fit had a more than twofold increased likelihood of being alive after 10 years than those who were the least physically fit. The findings, to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's annual meeting, also showed that the number of heart disease risk factors didn't impact the risk of death.
HealthDay News (3/6) 
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Health News & Research
Judge says FDA must issue cigarette graphic health warning by 2020
Judge says FDA must issue cigarette graphic health warning by 2020
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Indira Talwani, a US district judge in Boston, said the FDA has until March 2020 to issue a rule that will require graphic health warnings on packs and in advertising of cigarettes. The judge rejected the agency's proposal to complete the long-delayed final ruling by March 2021, saying the FDA missed a deadline that would have completed the rule by 2015.
Reuters (3/6) 
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CDC: Higher illness risk, lower absenteeism among low-income youths
CDC researchers found that children from households with annual incomes below $35,000 or who lived below the federal poverty level had a higher risk of developing gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, but they had reduced odds of missing school, compared with those from higher-income households. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, based on 2010 to 2016 survey data involving youths ages 5 to 17, also showed that among those who did miss school, children from low-income families had longer absences than children from higher-income households.
Healio (free registration)/Infectious Diseases in Children (3/7),  Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (3/7) 
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Some heart-healthy diets may protect cognitive function
Research published in the journal Neurology associated following certain heart-healthy diets in early adulthood with better cognitive function at middle age. The study did not find a link between the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet and cognitive changes, but people who had higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet or the A Priori Diet Quality Score plan showed a lower rate of decline in cognitive and executive function at middle-age than those with low adherence.
Healio (free registration) (3/6) 
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Consumers can save on meds by shopping around, study finds
Consumers can save on meds by shopping around, study finds
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Price shopping could help consumers save as much as $5,400 annually on asthma inhalers and $102 on hypertension drugs, according to a study conducted by the US Public Interest Research Group. Researchers surveyed over 250 pharmacies in 11 states to determine the prices of 12 drugs for asthma, hypertension and diabetes, and they found that eight of those medicines were 8% to 840% cheaper at smaller, independent pharmacies compared with prices at large pharmacy chains.
Becker's Hospital Review (3/5) 
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Long-term postmenopausal hormone treatment may raise Alzheimer's odds
Postmenopausal women who took oral hormone therapy for at least 10 years beginning before age 60 were 9% to 17% more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, compared with those who didn't receive oral hormone therapy, but no increased Alzheimer's risk was found among women who received vaginal hormone therapy, Finnish researchers reported in The BMJ. However, the findings shouldn't cause worry, and short-term hormone therapy had more benefits than risk for women going through early menopause, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, who co-wrote an accompanying editorial.
NBC News (3/6) 
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Schools & Community
School meals may help reduce food insecurity in Texas area
School district and community leaders in six Texas counties are working with the Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University on how school meals, such as breakfast programs, can help address food insecurity in areas near the Mexico border. The McAllen Independent School District's breakfast program, which has a 108% participation rate, may serve as a model.
KVEO-TV (Brownsville, Texas) (3/6) 
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Wellness Industry Developments
AHIP News
It's all here. Including super saver rates
Breakthroughs. Connections. Leadership. Decisions. Change. Institute & Expo brings together the best minds in health care and beyond together to focus on making health care better. It's all there. Make sure you are, too. Register before March 18 and take advantage of Super Saver registration rates.
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Options and flexibility to enhance provider networks
PPO Direct Members offer payers and administrators targeted strategies that can help expand their provider networks while better serving their customers. Providence Preferred, a member of PPO Direct, is a Portland-based preferred provider organization composed of physicians, hospitals and ancillary service providers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Providence Preferred is designed to manage the cost, delivery and quality of health care for its diverse clientele.
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Master Medicaid with AHIP's Medicaid Primer course
This online course gives you a solid foundation in Medicaid's fundamentals including funding and administration, eligibility, long-term services, managed care, waivers, regulatory issues, and more. It's professional education that gets noticed and grows careers. Learn more about Medicaid Primer and enroll today.
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Health Care Without Walls at AHIP’s Policy Conference
During AHIP's National Health Policy Conference (March 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C.), Senator Tom Daschle, Susan Dentzer, and Senator Bill Frist will discuss a roadmap for reimagining health care. See all the speakers and topics. Register today for #AHIPPolicy.
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