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Posts tagged: health care

Health care forum to explore employee wellness

Employee health and wellness will be discussed at this year’s Future of Health Care program, Thursday morning in Spokane.

Presented by Greater Spokane Incorporated and the Journal of Business, the program runs from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St.

Speakers are Donna Steward, government affairs director for the Association of Washington Business; Dr. Kyle Dosch, dental consultant, Washington Dental Service; Mark Patrick, managing partner, Moloney+O’Neill Benefits; and Elisabeth Buchman, director of product development for wellness and ancillary products, Group Health Cooperative.

The discussion will focus on factors businesses should consider around employee health and wellness, such as the impact on their budgets and their ability to attract and retain new talent.

Cost is $30. Information: http://events.greaterspokane.org

Survey finds more Idaho employers offering health coverage

Idaho employers reversed an eight-year decline in workplace health care coverage in 2011, despite the financial pressures of coming out of the worst recession since World War II.

Percent of Idaho Employers Offering Health Coverage to Full-Time Workers

 
 
 

Single

Family

 

2002

82%

62%

 

2005

74%

N/A

 

2007

63%

57%

 

2009

56%

53%

 

2011

66%

61%

 

The Idaho Department of Labor’s 2011 Fringe Benefit Survey found 66 percent of employers offered individual health insurance to full-time workers and 61 percent offered coverage to the families of those workers, the agency said today. That is 10 percentage points higher than the 2009 survey findings for worker coverage and eight points higher for family coverage.

But while the totals showed an end to the decline in workplace health care coverage, the totals fall short of 2002, when 82 percent of employers said they provided worker coverage and 62 percent family coverage.

Coverage offered to part-time workers was essentially unchanged from 2009 at 10 percent to 11 percent.

More than 900 randomly selected employers responded to the survey, conducted last August and September. The results on a statewide basis have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The survey found similar increases in the percentage of employers offering dental coverage to their workers, but there was little change in the availability to workers of pension plans or paid leave in the form of vacation, sick days or holidays.

The overall increase in the availability of health insurance in the workplace was seen among all payroll sizes from employers with fewer than 10 workers to those with more than 250.

2 Washington hospital systems to combine forces

SEATTLE — Two of Western Washington’s largest hospital systems have announced a plan to create a new not-for-profit entity to operate an even larger health care system in the state.

Leaders of Swedish Health Services and Providence Health & Services described their “innovative affiliation” Wednesday as one driven by economic necessity. They stressed that the move is not a merger or acquisition, according to a story by The Seattle Times.

The proposed new entity will include all of Swedish’s operations in King, Snohomish and Kittitas counties and all of Providence’s operations in King, Snohomish, Thurston and Lewis counties. Providence will keep its name and Catholic identity; Swedish will retain its name and remain a non-religious organization.

Swedish operates five hospitals and clinics in its affected area while Providence operates three hospitals and 21 senior and community service programs in its target counties.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on spokesman.com and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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