iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Educating patients and families on palliative vs hospice care is critical

Medicare Spent $11,393 per Hospice Beneficiary in 2014


CMS recently released an analysis on hospice spending. Here are some key findings from the report:


In 2014, Medicare spent an average of $11,393 per hospice beneficiary.
There were 1.3 million hospice beneficiaries in 2014.
11% had a live discharge from hospice care in 2014.
In 2014, 1 in 3 beneficiaries had more than 60 days of hospice care.
13% had more than 180 days of hospice care in 2014.
South Carolina had the highest spending ($14,778) per hospice beneficiary.



Source: CMS, October 6, 2016

It is time that patients have complete access to their records

Only 39% of patients say their medical providers directly exchange medical records, while 25% of the patients must deliver a paper copy to the other provider themselves, according to a recent survey. Source: “Are Patients Ready for EHR Interoperability? IndustryView | 2015,” Software Advice, September 28, 2015,

The changing face of office visits

A new national survey finds that most parents want online options from kids’ health care providers, but half say it should be free, according to a new University of Michigan Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

In the poll, 77 percent of parents said they would be likely to seek email advice for their children’s minor illness if that service were available. Only 6 percent of parents said they could currently get that email advice from their child’s health care provider.

But about half of those polled felt any charge for an email consultation should be less than that of an office visit. And 48 percent of those polled felt an online consultation should be free.

The poll surveyed 1,420 parents with a child aged 0 to 17 years old.

Read the story here:

The decline of employer sponsored health care

According to a recent report on employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI):

  • The share of private employers offering ESI declined by 3.6% between 1999/2000 and 2008/2009
  • More than half of those who lost ESI (3.8 million) were in families earning moderate incomes (between 200% and 399% of federal poverty level, or about $44,000 – $88,000 for a family of four)
  • The decline among small businesses, those with less than 50 workers, was greater—from 47% in 1999/2000 to 42% in 2008/2009
  • Of the 7.3 million people who lost ESI over the decade, 4.1 million—nearly 57%—are dependent

Source: “Number of Americans With Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Drops Significantly Over Last Decade,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Press Release, June 21, 2011,

When is Your Employer Adding Age 26 Eligibility for Health Care

Employers Action Taken Extending Health Care Benefits to Employee’s Adult Children up to Age 26

Taking immediate action 20%
Will wait until required by law 67%
currently meet requirements 5%
Not sure 9%

Employer’s Plan on Extending Dental Plan Coverage and Vision Benefits to Employee’s Adult Children up to Age 26

Plan to extend dental coverage in order to match their medical plan requirement 42%
Plan to extend vision benefits in order to match their medical plan requirement 32%
Not sure what action to take regarding dental and vision benefits 53%
Data Source: The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Publication Source: New Survey Reveals Employers Pursuing Early Retiree Reinsurance Payments; Considering Their Options in Reaction to Health Care Reform,
July 14, 2010 | Categories: Dependents,healthcare,insurance | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

Dependent Coverage Clarifications Welcomed

Employers Seen As Unlikely To Drop Dependent Coverage Despite Costs Of Wider Eligibility
Employers generally welcomed HHS’ interim final rule on providing coverage for dependents up to age 26, especially its clarification that making the change early will not affect plans’ ability to gain ”grandfathered” status. [ Inside Health Reform | May 13,

HHS Releases Guidance on Age 26 Dependents

Health Insurance For the Under-26 Crowd
Details emerged this week from the federal government concerning health reform law’s inclusion of young adults within parents’ health policies?- are you in the know?[ CNNMoney | May 12

Big changes in dependent coverage as adult children remain in employer health plans

Read both the commentary and the text of the law at Dick Quinn’s blog: