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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

The Catch: Health and Games

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Humana Inc. figures if you can’t beat ’em, let a relentless automated taskmaster beat ’em.

Rather than rail against the fact that too many Americans are wrecking their health risk profiles by playing video games when they should be exercising, Humana, Louisville, Ky. (NYSE:HUM), is working with Ubisoft Entertainment, a video game developer, to create a fitness game for the Kinect for Xbox 360 system.

The “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012” game includes workout programs aimed at children, seniors and people with high blood pressure.

Each game comes with a virtual coach and places the player in a virtual gym that mirrors the player’s movements. The program can track the calories a player has burned in real time, Humana says.

No word on whether players will be trapped forever in the smelly gym level because they have not been able to rub the magic weightlifting machine knob that reveals the gym where Justin Bieber hangs out.


Average annual prescription costs for low-income Medicare enrollees who get help paying for Medicare Part D drug coverage may be about twice the average for Part D enrollees who get no government help with paying the Part D premiums.

Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have published prescription spending figures in a review of Medicare Part D spending patterns.

The CBO analysts used Part D data fro 2008 to conduct the analysis.

Enrollees who could pay for Part D coverage on their own bought prescriptions with a total average cost of $1,800. The enrollees paid about 60% of the cost with premiums and out-of-pocket spending, and the federal government paid about 40% of the cost.

Low-income enrollees bought prescriptions with a total average cost of $3,600, and 23% needed prescriptions with a total annual cost of $5,000 or more.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit, has worked out an agreement with state regulators that will help it proceed with plans to buy a minority stake in the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies, Philadelphia, a Medicaid managed care company.

Michigan Blue persuaded Michigan regulators to let it proceed with the deal by agreeing to continue to hold premiums for a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan, “Plan C,” to $121 per month until at least August 2016. Michigan Blue would like to charge $194 per month for the coverage.

Michigan Blue keeps the Medigap rates artificially low using state-mandated subsidies, the company says.


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