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wellness digest—week of november 7

November 14, 2011

in wellness digest

a roundup of last week’s news that caught my interest.

1. many employers have restored suspended 401(k) matches, analysis finds

with 72% of employees fearing they won’t have enough money for retirement, it’s good news that companies are starting to restore their suspended 401(k) matches, though not always at the same level as before.

“Slightly less than a quarter of the companies that had suspended the matching benefit brought it back at a lower level—about half their previous match, the analysis found. And 3 percent reinstated the matching benefit at a higher level to help make up for the lost benefits.”

2. on tour now: the balancing act at the center of healthcare reform

maggie mahar writes the outstanding health beat blog. here she writes about a central question to health care reform that’s still to be worked out:

“What ‘essential services’ must all insurance plans cover?

“Why is the definition of ‘essential services’ so critical? Because the success of the entire law depends on finding the right balance between how comprehensive required coverage will be and how affordable it will be.”

3. why you should “like” your insurance company on facebook

more insurers are going after that single-permission click that lets them into our lives.

“For instance, insurers can use the social media site to build trust with consumers, engage them in dialogue about relevant issues, and even highlight the insurer’s playful image—like promoting Flo, the face of Progressive, who has more than 3 million Facebook fans.”

4. shapeup goes global with social wellness platform

english may be the global language of business, but it’s not the language in many homes. shapeup announced that its platform and customer support now operate in different languages and dialects.

“To serve the needs of large, multinational clients with offices around the globe, ShapeUp has expanded the accessibility of its platform by making it available in the following 12 languages and dialects: United States English, United Kingdom English, Latin American Spanish, European Union Spanish, Canadian French, European Union French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional  Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. In addition, ShapeUp’s telephonic and online customer support team now operates in 93 countries, making personalized employee assistance available around the world.”

5. wal-mart will see you now

fresh off the announcement of their rollback of employee benefits, wal-mart is again in the news—this time for wanting to provide primary care to customers. walmart moved into groceries and then banking. with this announcement, they’re staking their claim on retail medical and taking on CVS.

“Late last month, the retail behemoth started scouting out companies to launch clinics in Wal-Mart stores that would provide basic preventive and screening services. The 14-page request sent to vendors, which you can read here, outlines a plan for Wal-Mart to ‘use its retail and multi-channel footprint to offer the lowest cost primary health care services and products in the nation.’”

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