Happy National Employee Benefits Day

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans has named today National Employee Benefits Day. Here are the ten top ways to celebrate. My favorite is #10.

Health insurers are celebrating today because HHS backed off on its plan to use the sustainable rate of growth formula to cut Medicare Advantage rates for 2014. The Washington Post explains how the insurers won this uphill battle.

Govexec.com reports that “Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry’s [four year long] term expires in less than two weeks, and he is expected to announce his departure from OPM soon.”  Director Berry is expected to be named U.S. Ambassador to Australia.

The FEHBlog finds it interesting to track second and third bounces of the ball. For that reason, he read with interest this Insurance Broadcasting report about how casualty insurance actuaries are evaluating how the roll out of the Affordable Care Act will impact medical malpractice and workers compensation premiums.

The AMA News takes a closer look at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s U.S. county by county health rankings.

The comparison underscores a key finding in the 2013 survey: Gaps
between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties in individual states
are large and continue to grow. The survey highlighted the fact that
residents in the healthiest counties are 1.4 times more likely to have
access to a primary care physician than those in the least healthy
counties. Unhealthy areas also had higher rates when it came to a host
of other negative indicators of overall health, including child poverty,
teen pregnancy and premature death.

All health care remains local. The article notes that the rankings now in their fourth year are spurring useful competition. The FEHBA does provide expanded coverage in areas that OPM deems medically underserved (5 U.S.C. § 8902(m)(2)).