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wellness digest—week of july 11

July 18, 2011

in wellness digest

a recap of last week’s news that caught my interest. it’s a noticeably light week, as i spent a good portion of it gallivanting around the wizarding world of harry potter. read anything i shouldn’t miss?

1. obama administration rolls out standards for health insurance marketplaces

the obama administration released the rules that’ll govern how we as individuals, families and small businesses shop for insurance once exchanges are available.

“Each state exchange will certify ‘qualified health plans,’ provide the public with ‘standardized comparative information’ on costs and benefits, and rate each plan based on the quality and price of care. In addition, the exchange will help people determine if they are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or for federal tax credits to subsidize the purchase of private insurance.”

(note: for an analysis on this announcement, i plan to read this series from health affairs.)

 2. the ultimate office design for getting in shape throughout the workday

not every company has the luxury of building a new office or has the deep pockets that ff venture capital probably does. still, this article about the way they approached building and outfitting an office to increase physical activity offers insights and suggestions for any size company. they include their accepted, rejected and planned for ideas. it’s a healthy list.

“Unfortunately, most people are not that lucky—we work hunched over our computers in office jobs which detract from our health, instead of helping our health. My colleagues at ff Venture Capital and I want to work in an office which makes working in an office job a workout—a (partial) substitute for visiting a gym. We think there’s a way to design office work so that physical fitness is integrated throughout your day. We’d value your ideas on how to do that.”

3. the good short life

we have technology that keeps us alive, but it’s up to us to decide whether or not to use it and to what degree it truly helps us live, as this poignant read about living and choices explains. providing guidance on how to sort through these choices is another way employers can support more informed health care decisions.

“We obsess in this country about how to eat and dress and drink, about finding a job and a mate. About having sex and children. About how to live. But we don’t talk about how to die. We act as if facing death weren’t one of life’s greatest, most absorbing thrills and challenges. Believe me, it is. This is not dull. But we have to be able to see doctors and machines, medical and insurance systems, family and friends and religions as informative— not governing—in order to be free.”

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