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The cost of medical care will continue to rise, according to Willis Towers Watson’s annual Global Medical Trends Survey for 2017, published in June 2017. The survey points out that while the trend has slowed in some countries, it is still mostly above inflation. It can be attributed to the overall cost of hospital and inpatient services, basic medical and outpatient services, provider and employee behavior, new medical technology,

Workers are getting better at balancing work and home life, according to a Robert Half Management Resources survey published in June 2017 that revealed that the majority of professionals (52 percent) believe their work-life balance has improved from three years ago. Employers and employees alike are emphasizing work-life balance, and managers contribute by giving their teams more freedom over where and when they work, if possible, and providing greater

U.S. health insurance comparison platform in June 2017 announced the launch of The CheckUp, a new online blog meant to equip Americans with the knowledge and insight to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare. More than one-third of Americans are unaware that “Obamacare” is another name for the Affordable Care Act, according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult earlier this year. Led by Ronald Barba, a veteran

Private insurance claim lines with opioid abuse and dependence diagnoses were found in every age group from 13-18 years to over 80 years, and in urban areas, in every age group from 13-18 years to 71-80 years. Further, claim lines with opioid abuse and dependence diagnoses were more concentrated among middle-aged people in rural settings, and young and middle-aged people in urban settings. These findings are based on a

The Provider Data Action Alliance, a U.S.-based non-profit cross-section of healthcare leaders, in July 2017 began work on a wide-ranging effort to improve the accuracy of provider data for industry stakeholders and patients. The alliance, which represents health, dental and vision plans; provider organizations, health systems, government and health information exchanges, has developed a roadmap that articulates actionable strategies and vision for obtaining and sharing high-quality provider information that

Cyber risk analytics firm Cyence and specialty insurance market Lloyd’s of London in July 2017 published a joint report that explores the financial impact on insurers of two specific cyber scenarios in terms of dollars and probabilities. Cyence’s economic modeling platform for cyber risk identified and quantified the potential outcomes that could affect insurance companies’ cyber portfolios. The report focused on two increasingly common cyber events: a cloud service provider

Vaccines manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur in July 2017 announced that its first doses of its range of influenza (“flu”) vaccines for the 2017-2018 flu season have been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shipments will begin in early August to support fall immunization campaigns. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get an

Earnings rose in 2016 for the U.S. health insurance industry, with net income for those companies filing a health annual statement rising by 46% to $13.1 billion compared with $9.0 billion in 2015. This, according to an A.M. Best special report titled, U.S. Health Insurance Industry Earnings Up in 2016.  The report notes that net income was supported by a second year of improving underwriting income, which is owed

Crossing the U.S. border often is a time-consuming and sometimes even an unpleasant experience. Sixteen years after September 11, 2001, which marked the beginning of much-heightened security at U.S. border crossings, the government presses ahead with accelerated entry procedures for nationals of certain countries meeting certain requirements. It does so through at least five programs: Global Entry; NEXUS (U.S., Canadian, and Mexican nationals); SENTRI (all countries); the Visa Waiver

In a long overdue move, the European Commission in June 2017 unveiled a proposal for a pan-European personal pensions product (PEPP). PEPPs are designed to complement – not replace or harmonize  – existing state-based occupational and national personal pensions throughout the European Union. The PEPP forms part of the Commission’s plan to build a Capital Markets Union (CMU), wherein the Commission believes the new pension product will help to

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) in 2016 issued work permit fines to over 52,000 organizations for a total of 141,000 fines for incomplete work permit registration or late renewals, hitting approximately 15 per cent of UAE companies. The fine is Dhs100 per day, capped at Dhs2,000 (USD 544 or EUR 476 at June 30, 2017 exchange rates). An organization cannot not receive any further work

As existing P/C captives expand to include employee benefits risks, often under the guidance of risk managers, understanding their concerns and challenges may prove useful for client relationship managers more accustomed to dealing with human resources departments. Risk managers face a growing confusion of challenges and new demands according to a Lockton survey of risk management professionals. The survey, presented officially at Lockton’s Complex Risk Symposium in mid-June 2017,

According to a global survey of insurance executives released in June 2017 by Earnix, a provider of analytics solutions for the financial services industry, there is wide adoption of Machine Learning by insurers across the globe, and expectation that machine learning will bring “significant” change to the industry over the next three to five years. According to Wikipedia, machine learning gives “computers the ability to learn without being explicitly

Losing sleep over money? You’re not alone. A recent poll, conducted in April 2017 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and released by, reports that 65% of Americans are losing sleep because of money. The most common money-related worry, expressed by 38% of Americans, is healthcare or insurance bills, putting this concern at the top of the list for the first time since the Great Recession. Another 37%

Aon Employee Benefits, the U.K. health and benefits business of Aon plc, in April 2017 published a new report that highlights four ways U.K. employers can support their employees’ well-being in a shifting economic climate: Understand the connections between employee health, wealth and behavior in the specific working population. Secure sufficient budget for employee well-being. The Aon 2016 EMEA health report research showed that well-being budget restrictions are a

Workplace flexibility – part time work, flextime, and telecommuting – is gaining in popularity, particularly in the fields of advertising and marketing, according to new research from staffing firm The Creative Group. More than 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives and more than 1,000 U.S. workers aged 18 years and older and employed in office environments were asked “Which of the following work arrangements does your agency/firm currently offer?”.

138 Asian senior female executives were polled by U.S. based consultancy firm Heidrick & Struggles, across Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Japan, and China between May and December 2016, and the results of that poll indicate that women in multinational corporations feel marginalized to regional roles. 54 percent of the women believe that the lack of global opportunities is due to their ethnic background, while 47 percent felt that gender

Adults in many countries around the world display low levels of financial knowledge according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Their December 2016 study, entitled the OECD/INFE International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy Competencies , reveals that besides low levels of knowledge, adults fail to engage in financial behaviors that could result in improved financial security, nor do they have financial attitudes oriented toward the long

Today’s global workforce is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to data security, according to the Dell End-User Security Survey, commissioned by Dell and conducted by Dimensional Research. The rock: be productive and efficient on the job. The hard place: maintain the security of company data. At issue is employee sharing of confidential information without having proper data security protocols in place. The survey

Management consulting firm Frost & Sullivan in April 2017 announced findings by its Transformational Health team that suggest that analytics adoption among U.S. healthcare payers and providers is not consistent, and that some health systems might utilize advanced enterprise data processing architecture to derive patient-specific insight for every episode of care. Healthcare analytics is widely considered as the key enabler of value-based care, and robust use of analytics allows

Actuarial firm Milliman in March 2017 released its annual report on the U.S. commercial health insurance market’s financial results . Based on medical loss ratio data submitted in 2016 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the report provides a clear picture of health insurers’ financial experiences in each year, and provides a final accounting of insurers’ financial results after “3R” transfer payments have been completed. The report

One out of every six companies allows its travelers to stay at home-sharing properties such as AirBnB, reports a new study by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association—but more than twice that number are under the impression that it is okay to do so. That means many travelers are booking and staying in properties unsupported by their travel policy—a serious duty

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in April 2017 published its monthly Composite Leading Indicator (CLI) with data from February 2017. Growth is anticipated to pick-up in the United States, Canada, and in Germany. In the United Kingdom, as in last month’s publication, there are tentative signs of growth gaining momentum, although the CLI remains below trend and uncertainty persists about the nature of the agreement the

Cartus, a provider of global relocation services, has published its 2016 Global Mobility Policy and Practices Survey that identifies four-year trends in where companies are sending their employees. As more companies establish presence in areas where labor and market conditions favor business growth, Cartus identifies trends by culling data from its worldwide client base, which includes more than 50 percent of Fortune 50 companies and approximately 163,000 corporate and

One thousand college-educated U.S. employees recently responded to questions about their bosses’ ability to handle stress, their contributions to the workplace, and their own work experiences, in a March 2017 study conducted by workforce consulting firm Life Meets Work. According to the survey site, “Managers provide direction, assessment, and motivation for the teams they support. If managers don’t have the skills to handle stress, then everyone working for that

In their Global Interim Economic Outlook for March 2017, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) notes that global economic growth should pick up modestly next year, thanks to continuing and expected combined fiscal and structural initiatives in the major economies – most notably China, Canada, and the United States. However, this growth is vulnerable to the multiple risks of rising protectionism, financial vulnerabilities, potential volatility from divergent

The plan to repeal and replace “Obamacare,” more formally known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was put in place by President Barack Obama, experienced a rough week in late March 2017, as more Republican leaders sided with Democrats who are feeling reticent about passing the controversial American Health Care Act (AHCA). The defections come after Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that the bill would result in higher