Blue Shield Of Calif. Turns To Retail Stores; Poll Finds Workers’ Share Of Health Costs Growing
Insurer's retail outlet in San Francisco will be in a supermarket. Meanwhile, a poll of large U.S. employer health spending by Modern Healthcare finds workers' costs are increasing.
San Francisco Chronicle: Blue Shield 1st State Insurer With Retail Presence
At a Lucky supermarket in San Francisco, shoppers will be able to pick up some health insurance along with their fruits and vegetables. Blue Shield of California will open a 500-square-foot brick-and-mortar store within the supermarket Monday as a way to attract new customers and serve existing members who may want to talk to an insurance representative face- to-face rather than over the phone or by e-mail. The concept is not brand new. In recent years, similar retail outlets for health insurance have cropped up in other parts of the country (Colliver, 11/6).
Kaiser Health News: FAQ On HSAs: The Basics Of Health Savings Accounts
It's open enrollment season for many employer-sponsored health plans. ... Health savings accounts, coupled with high deductible health plans, increasingly are on the list of choices. The insurance industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans reports that the number of people with these plans 'rose to more than 11.4 million in January 2011, up from 10 million in January 2010'" (Kulkarni, 11/4).
Modern Healthcare: Sharing The Pain
American workers, regardless of industry, are shouldering a greater share of the cost of medical care, based on the results of Modern Healthcare's fourth annual survey of health spending by large U.S. employers. Among the 35 large employers participating in this year's Healthcare Purchasing Power Survey were household names such as General Electric Co. and General Motors Co. and major health systems, including Henry Ford Health System, Catholic Health Initiatives and Vanguard Health Systems. By no means representative of the nation, the survey results nonetheless offer a glimpse into health spending trends and changes to health benefits (Evans, 11/7).