CA Access News

October 2008

In this Issue: Features | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information


Diseases vs. Populations – The Impact of Chronic Conditions

By Thomas Parry, Ph.D., President, Integrated Benefits Institute

Historically, employers have managed their benefits programs in "vertical slices" as a way to maximize claims-processing efficiency and to minimize costs. Managing these programs in individual silos may have generated these efficiencies but also promoted risk and cost shifting from one program to another, and from the business to employees.


Part D Beneficiaries Have a Wide Array of Good Choices for the 2009 Part D Open Season

Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant). Medicare Part D is insurance that covers both brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Medicare prescription drug coverage provides protection for people who have very high drug costs or from unexpected prescription drug bills in the future. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.


Partner Spotlight

Central City Association of Los Angeles


The Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA) is devoted to promoting the economic health and quality of life of Los Angeles and particularly Downtown Los Angeles by creating a vibrant, 24-hour, internationally renowned Downtown powered by business, government, residents, arts and entertainment.

Established in 1924, the CCA is a business membership organization representing more than 450 businesses, trade associations and non-profits employing more than 300,000 people in Los Angeles County. As Los Angeles' premier business advocacy leader shaping public policy on a broad range of issues, the CCA is the leading architect of the Downtown Renaissance.

Web site



"Controlling Health Costs - The Business Value of a Healthy Workforce" Seminar

The principal stumbling block to effectively managing health is that the health care issue has always been placed solely in the context of health care costs and their containment. This presentation steps outside this framework to demonstrate how and why employee health management investments are good business investments. Employers, both public and private, can change the zero-sum game into a win-win for employees and their businesses.

Attendees at this luncheon will learn about:

  • The impact of chronic health conditions beyond health care costs.
  • Opportunities to align the interests of CFOs with workforce health initiatives.
  • Making the business case for health to senior executives.

Guest Speaker - Northern California:
Dr. Tom Parry, President, Integrated Benefits Institute

Guest Speaker - Southern California:
William Molmen, General Counsel & Co-founder Integrated Benefits Institute

Best Practices Presentation by:
Orange County Professional Firefighter's Association


Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Noon - 2 p.m.
Hilton Hotel
Hiro Room
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608

Co-hosted by the Asian Business Association, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Business Council, Southern California Minority Business Council, United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Valley Industry & Commerce Association.

RSVP Required
RSVP to Brandon at (323) 466-3445 or email


Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Noon - 2 p.m.
Biltmore Hotel & Suites
2151 Laurelwood Road
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Co-hosted by the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and Convention-Visitors Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Wellness Community of Silicon Valley.

RSVP Required
RSVP to Charlotte at (916) 658-0144 or email



Visit the CPAT Calendar to view upcoming events in your area.

Do you have an event you’d like to advertise? If so, let us know! Send your event information to:


Welcome New Partners

Join Now


In the News

Workers to bear burden of rising health costs
San Francisco Chronicle, September 5, 2008
Nearly 60 percent of employers nationwide plan to curb rising health premiums by making their employees pay more, according to a survey released Thursday by Mercer Consulting firm.

Health care rates still rising as employers seek alternatives
Sacramento Business Journal, September 10, 2008
High-deductible plans and wellness programs are hot items as businesses head into open enrollment, the time each fall when many employers ask workers to pick coverage for the next year.

Workers pay more, get less in health benefits
San Francisco Chronicle, September 25, 2008
American workers are paying more for their employer-backed health insurance and getting skimpier benefits - a troubling trend that authors of a new study say offsets a moderation in premium increases.

Health care reforms back on Schwarzenegger's plate
San Jose Mercury News, September 27, 2008
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent more than a year pursuing a radical overhaul of a health care system that leaves millions uninsured and virtually everyone else struggling with ever-growing costs for skimpier coverage.

Health costs out of reach? More people skimping on prescriptions, visits to doctor than before.
Fresno Bee, August 27, 2008
Families aren't just skipping prime rib dinners and trips to Las Vegas to save money these days. They're also economizing on prescription drugs, dental work and doctor visits.

Rising medical costs pinch more Americans, study finds
Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2008
Americans are struggling to pay medical bills and accumulating medical debt at an increasing rate, according to a survey released Thursday.


Interesting Information

Controlling Health Costs

In 2007, total national health expenditures rose to 6.9 percent -- two times the rate of inflation.(1) Total spending was $2.3 trillion in 2007, equal to $7600 per person.(1) Experts agree that our health care system is consumed with overspending, misusage and inefficiencies. These problems drastically increase the cost of health care and insurance for employers and their employees in addition to affecting the security of families and their livelihoods.

  • Premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 6.1 percent in 2007. Small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 5.5 percent. Firms with less than 24 workers experienced an increase of 6.8 percent.(2)
  • Health insurance expenses are the fastest growing cost component for employers. Unless something changes dramatically, health insurance costs will overtake profits by 2008.(5)
  • Starbucks reports that annually they spend more on health insurance than they did to buy the raw materials to produce the coffee they sell.(4)
  • The percentage of small firms offering health insurance to employees dropped from 68 percent to 59 percent between 2000 and 2007.(2)
  • Only 50 percent of workers in all small firms are covered by their own employers' plans. Employees of small firms who have family coverage contributed $1500 more a year for premiums in 2007 than their counterparts in larger firms.(2) The high costs have forced many low wage workers to forego coverage even though it is available from the company.
  • Employees are now paying $1,400 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 2000.(2) Employees on average pay 27 percent of the premium.(1) If workers continue to pay that percentage, by the end of 2008, employees, on average, will pay $3,500 annually for their share of health insurance premiums.(3)
  • Over two-thirds of families with medical bill problems have health insurance coverage. Due to medical debt, over two-thirds of these families report that they have difficulty paying for other basic necessities like rent, mortgage, transportation, food and heating costs.(6)

For more information please visit the National Coalition on Health Care.

1. Poisal, J.A., et al, Health Spending Projections Through 2016: Modest Changes Obscure Part D’s Impact. Health Affairs (21 February 2007): W242-253.
2. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Employee Health Benefits: 2007 Annual Survey. 11 September 2006.
3. National Coalition on Health Care estimate.
4. Speech by Howard Schultz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation "Cover the Uninsured Briefing," April 25, 2005.
5. McKinsey and Company. The McKinsey Quarterly Chart Focus Newsletter, "Will Health Benefit Costs Eclipse Profits," September, 2004.
6. Doty, M., J. Edwards, and A. Holmgren, Seeing Red: Americans Driven into Debt by Medical Bills, The Commonwealth Fund, August 2005.


925 L Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814

Supported by America's Pharmaceutical Research Companies


If you do not wish to receive future issues of CA Access News, please send an e-mail to requesting to be deleted from the mailing list. Please be sure to include the e-mail address where you are receiving newsletters.