Apparently it’s Healthcare week at ITBO?

Good article by Mona Charen.

The Obama Democrats took a system that was groaning under the weight of exploding Medicare and Medicaid costs and made it worse by adding another entitlement. They took a system that encourages voracious consumption of health-care services (because a third party is paying) and expanded it. They took a system that already inhibited choice (by, for example, imposing costly mandates on insurance carriers) and restricted competition still further.

President Obama claims that his is a (cough, cough) non-ideological administration. He has promised many times to invest only in “what works.” But the Massachusetts health reform (aka Romneycare) adopted very similar reforms to those in the Obamacare law. It’s been a failure. The Massachusetts experiment has failed to reduce costs (they are the highest in the nation) and has reduced quality as physicians flee the state, leading to longer wait times for appointments. This information was available in March.

Remember how Obama was supposed to be a pragmatist? Baa haa haa …

What Obama and his cronies ignored is that there were models that worked.

The key to achieving these savings is health-care plans that reward healthy behavior. As a self-insured employer, Safeway designed just such a plan in 2005 and has made continuous improvements each year. The results have been remarkable. During this four-year period, we have kept our per capita health-care costs flat (that includes both the employee and the employer portion), while most American companies’ costs have increased 38% over the same four years.

So, how did they do it?

Safeway’s plan capitalizes on two key insights gained in 2005. The first is that 70% of all health-care costs are the direct result of behavior. The second insight, which is well understood by the providers of health care, is that 74% of all costs are confined to four chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity). Furthermore, 80% of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is preventable, 60% of cancers are preventable, and more than 90% of obesity is preventable.

But, Safeway hasn’t become it’s employees’ nanny; barring fatty foods (like Happy Meals). Safeway doesn’t nudge. It incentivizes.

As with most employers, Safeway’s employees pay a portion of their own health care through premiums, co-pays and deductibles. The big difference between Safeway and most employers is that we have pronounced differences in premiums that reflect each covered member’s behaviors.

Humn. Sounds … pragmatic.

Currently we are focused on tobacco usage, healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Safeway’s Healthy Measures program is completely voluntary and currently covers 74% of the insured nonunion work force. Employees are tested for the four measures cited above and receive premium discounts off a “base level” premium for each test they pass. Data is collected by outside parties and not shared with company management. If they pass all four tests, annual premiums are reduced $780 for individuals and $1,560 for families. Should they fail any or all tests, they can be tested again in 12 months. If they pass or have made appropriate progress on something like obesity, the company provides a refund equal to the premium differences established at the beginning of the plan year.

Added ha ha :

The Healthy Measures program currently applies only to our nonunion work force. While we have numerous health and wellness provisions in our union contracts, we are working with union leaders like Joe Hansen of the United Food and Commercial Workers to incorporate healthy measures provisions in our union work force as well.

The unions aren’t gonna put up with that shit. They want ONE low rate for everyone.

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One Comment on “Apparently it’s Healthcare week at ITBO?”

  1. agiledog Says:

    Hey, OceanCat, did your premiums more than double when yoor adult son joined your policy? If not, why not? If he was a normal “adult”, he should have at least the same healthcare costs as any other person, so adding him to your policy should have made it cost twice what you are already paying (and you do realize that your employer is likely already paying more than 50% of the cost of your policy?) But she he has a known pre-existing condition, ihis coverage should cost more than yours, so your policy should have more than doubled. it didn’t? Then it means others are paying for it – against their will, I bet. Thief.


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