An independent journal about the Gannett Co. and the news industry's digital transition
Anybody else out there experienced "Picasso"? Supposedly the news/content equivalent of "World Class Sales". Kate Marymont and Randy Lovely in Louisiana this week for meetings about this. Sounds like another corporate driven, top-down intiative a la first five grafs or real life, real news. I guess Gannett still hasn't learned its lesson.
9:16 a.m.: It's probably going to be a Work of Fart rather than a Work of Art. All Gannett initiatives are crap. Why not put grassroots local news in each newspaper and on each website??!!!!!!!!!!
Eff Gannett Daily is out! http://paper.li/effgannett/1379506375 - Top stories today via @HugoClery @mshamburge @prolfes
Gannett's new health care plan is driven less by Obamacare fees than by the company's desire to cut costs. Republicans for years have pushed for "consumer-driven" health care plans like Gannett's. (CDHC for short.)Some perspective on them: Critics argue that CDHC will cause consumers, particularly those less wealthy and educated, to avoid needed and appropriate health care because of the cost burden and the inability to make informed, appropriate choices. "Consumer-driven health care is badly named, because it's certainly not driven by consumers," said Jonathan Oberlander, political scientist, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It's "really just shifting the cost of health care onto the backs of the patients."
That's not "perspective" — it's pure ideological cant from a standard-issue left-wing academic (and not even an economist, at that).
12:01 That's apparently your personal opinion, since you don't cite a single source -- left, right or center. Please come back when you have one.
Well, speaking anecdotally, it already has me thinking about the doc's visits I need in course of a year and the medications I take for a couple of chronic conditions -- I wonder, for example, how much more each prescription will cost me.
12:01 Wikipedia offers a good summary of studies looking at the impact of CDHC on consumers. Importantly, the article includes citations to several studies, including by the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota; Harvard University; University of Illinois at Chicago, and the RAND Health Insurance Experiment. Also, health insurers, Aetna, Wellpoint, Humana and UnitedHealth Group have all provided their own independent analyses as well."In general," the article says, "most studies, starting with the RAND study, conclude that increasing the costs (co-payments and deductibles) of health care to the patient reduces the consumption of health care, but it reduces the consumption of both appropriate and inappropriate care, and the reduction is greater for low-income patients."Rand Corp., in particular, isn't the sort of left-leaning organization you so quickly dismiss.
The ideological premise underlying the original comment is that you are just too damn stupid to make your own decisions, and therefore must be cared for by an authoritarian nanny state.
Another gannett site with the new look has launched. D&C on Desktop. Looks good and fast.
Gannett paid for domestic partner benefits back before most companies did. Gannett has always supported GLBT causes at any cost. Quit talking like its a cheap outfit or conservative. That was a huge expense. Donna Shalala was on the board. We should all be greatful.
Oy, 12:08. Define "most companies."
I've done more research and confirmed what I recalled: In fact, Gannett dragged its heels, even as many senior executives wanted to add LGBT benefits and other companies moved ahead.The problem was the CFO at the time, Larry Miller, who imposed his personal, socially conservative views on the process until he was finally gone. (Also, he directed that Gannett Foundation money be donated to Focus on the Family, no supporter of LGBT rights.)
Jim you are not an impartial party here. People who know you, know why you started the blog. One of your colleagues let anyone who would listen know. It's common knowledge within USAT McLean
1:36 I would be delighted to hear why USAT McLean thinks I started this blog. Please post the information here so we can all see it.
Still waiting 1:36.
Well Jim apparently you are allowing these kinds of discussions today. So here is my two cents. The health care industry has been broken for awhile now. THe problem is, consumers never knew or cared how much a visit to their doctor or a prescription drug cost. They paid $20 and left. Good deal if you can get it. THe problem was those costs add up tot he provider. But we, the consumer didn't care because it was $20. NOW we go to the doctor and we are going to see the true cost. NOW we go to the pharmacy and we are going to see how much Lipitor costs, and we don't like it. We would never buy a car without comparing costs. Heck we don't go to a restaurant without thinking about the cost. The newspaper world changed forever with the invention of the web. Health care in America is changed forever effective October 1. As with the web, there is no going back. That genie is out of the bottle.
You are correct. Under the new Gannett plan, employees will pay for 100% of their doctor visits out of pocket until they reach their deductibles. That's when the benefit coverage kicks in.As a reminder, the deductibles are $1,500 for one employee only, and $3,000 for families.So, for example, if Mary Smith wants to see her doctor because she has a fever, she will want to know first how much that office visit costs. Let's say it's $150.In that scenario, Mary might say, Wow: I had no idea it was that expensive. She'll decide she doesn't want to spend that much just to treat a fever. Under her current plan, when she didn't pay 100% of the cost herself, she probably would have proceeded to see her doctor, since she'd only be responsible for a small co-pay, perhaps $20.Now, here's the dilemma. With these kind of "consumer-directed" plans, employees will be screening themselves -- in effect, becoming their own doctor before they decide to seek professional care. In my example, Mary might recover on her own in a day or two.But maybe not. That fever could be a sign of something more serious -- a condition that lands her in the hospital, at a much higher cost to her financially and physically if she'd instead paid the $150 for a doctor visit.These are the sort of trade-offs in the new plan adopted by Gannett. Better-educated employees with more money will suffer less than those less educated and poorer.The ultimate measure of success (or failure) will be whether Gannett's employee population spends less, while maintaining or improving overall health. We're about to find out.
Very nice explanation of now vs. how it will be. Thank you.
after the deductible is met, then it pays 100% ? what about prescriptions?
I believe at that point, the plan pays 80% and you pay 20%.The plan only covers 100% of any cost after the member hits their maximum out-of-pocket expense for the year: $5,000 for employee-only plans, and $10,000 for family plans.Those maximums include the $1,500 deductible for individuals and $3,000 for families.
This is what Obamacare is doing... Great everyone will have healthcare. They are high deductibles with 60/40 coverage and the out of pocket cap was pushed a year. On top of that Gannett has to pay nearly $70 per yr for each employee it insures. Everyone complains about executive benefits. Their are so many folks who get free rides on your tax dollars, not only will we pay more for insurance we also must pay for the subsides. On top of this people will still consume healthcare and not pay their bills, pushing even more cost to us. I didn't vote for the idiot. Remember this is what a "majority" wanted. Just be glad you aren't being forced to the exchange. My estimated rates on the exchange are about 4x higher for less coverage on the exchange.
Good times ahead. Sad that Ms.Martore screws her employees once again.
I have to say, this is the first time I have ever felt screwed by Gracia. I had hope before this health plan that she actually might care a little bit about us. All hope is gone.
Sorry, Jim. Not buying your corporate line of happy-happy BS. That family rate is the same company-wide, whether you're Gracia Martore or you're an underpaid desk editor trying to raise a family in a rotten economy. Between the annual premium of $6900 and the $3000 deductible, there's not much left for food and rent, let alone health care expenses. Take THAT back to your corporate moles.
Well, 7:23, now you've lost me. Happy-happy BS? Here's what I wrote in a comment yesterday:There are several disturbing things about this new medical plan that I'll be writing about. But here's just one.The new premium pricing is not graduated according to how much you earn. Under the old plans, people who earned less, paid less, and people who earned more, paid more.The change is right there on Page 10 of the FAQ: "Rates are the same across the company and are no longer based on salary bands or geography."Doesn't that mean, for example, that a general manager making $200,000 a year will pay the same monthly premium as a clerk earning $9 an hour?That would mean the clerk is spending a much higher percentage of his or her pay on medical costs than their far better-compensated boss.
Anonymous9/26/2013 7:23 PM says: I did not see that earlier post, so I am sorry for that. However, this from your above post is what got me upset:"These are the sort of trade-offs in the new plan adopted by Gannett. Better-educated employees with more money will suffer less than those less educated and poorer.The ultimate measure of success (or failure) will be whether Gannett's employee population spends less, while maintaining or improving overall health. We're about to find out."True enough statement, I'm a pretty well-educated consumer, considering I have a special-needs child, but you can't spend what you don't have. To find affordable care, I'm forced to look into Affordable Care. However, if that is delayed or defunded, guess what I'm stuck with?
8:36 do you really believe that the government, the same government that gave themselves subsidies because the insurance was too expensive, are going to offer you a cheaper, more comprehensive medical plan?
The government doesn't offer the plans -- private insurers do.
Tallahassee is getting stiffer competition from this web startup:http://tallahasseereports.com/They just published their first printed newspaper:http://tallahasseereports.com/2013/09/26/a-newspaper-is-born/Nice bunch of ads at the end of the PDF version:http://tallahasseereports.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/TallahasseeReportsSept2013.pdfTo get a hard copy, request one at this email address:Tallahasseereportsnow@gmail.comIt will be sent to you via direct mail.
Wonder how many of those advertisers on the bottom of the PDF are former Tallahassee Democrat advertisers?
That product is a complete piece of garbage. Someone please spray the poo-pourri to keep this one from stinking up the joint. Congrats on making the Democrat look and read like a professional paper by comparison.
Gannett's new health insurance program basically requires individuals to pay for their own health care, with before-tax dollars if you set up and contribute to a Health Savings Account, and catastrophic coverage added on for big illnesses and injuries, expensive end-of-life care, etc. There will be cost sharing by the company for health costs over the deductibles, which are significant.Gannett will contribute $500 to the savings account for those earning 35k or less; $125 for those up to 70k; and zero for higher income earners.Don't be fooled by the company's slight of hand. This is a significant loss of benefits and health-care security for all participating workers.This concept is a right-wing pipe dream of long standing. It is a manifestation of the long-standing desire of big business to extricate itself from the costs of health insurance for workers and their families that the American system saddled employers with during the previous century. Choice is an interesting name for the new program. Whose choice? The employer's, of course. Certainly not the employees'.As more employers force employees out of PPO and HMO plans and onto health savings programs such as this, so that they can withdraw from health care coverage and its expenses, there will be public pushback. Bigger pushback, maybe, than when HMOs began intensively denying coverage and access to specialists, unleashing a public outcry 20 years ago that forced HMOs to mend their ways and caused their share of the insurance market decline.The result this time will be to swing public opinion in favor of a national one-payer system. It won't be immediate, but that's where this all leads: to a system like most every other industrialized nation has.
You're correct, as regards the intent: Obamacare is deliberately designed to fail, because left-wing politicians and ideologues are convinced that the populace then will be so traumatized it will simply curl up and demand to be taken care of by Uncle Sugar.Not gonna happen. The American people are too smart, too stubborn, and too addicted to freedom to stand for it. Dream on, comrade.P.S. It's "sleight" of hand, chief, not "slight".
By maintaining a network of preferred providers, the company is telling workers which health providers they should go to for treatments paid for with their own money.
Okay, please enlighten us: Exactly how would you be better off if there were no negotiated discounts and no fixed fee schedule?
Historically, employer-provided health care coverage was used as a recruitment device, mostly during the 1940s when skilled employees were in short supply. There were strict wage and price controls at the time, and health care coverage often was a deciding factor when companies were trying to land good employees. Provision of health benefits was offered in lieu of salary or other compensation that was forbidden by the laws of the time.At this point, Gannett and other companies are adopting the employee-funded model, essentially taking away the benefit that originally was provided in place of salary. The unfair part of it is that they're doing so without effectively replacing the benefit with some other compensation.In short, companies provided health insurance in place of money. Now they are withdrawing significant parts of the insurance coverage without replacing it with money. It's a pay cut, plain and simple.The fact that the entire idea of employer-funded health insurance resulted from misguided government interference in the market is a debate for another day. Let's talk about the pay cut.
BS. Total compensation has increased.
Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."
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