Health

9:16am

Tue December 4, 2012
Shots - Health News

At Small Companies Insurance Extensions Have More Limits

Now that the layoffs are official, it's time to talk about health insurance.
iStockphoto.com

When it comes to health insurance, working for a small company often means making do with less than employees get at big firms.

Small companies offer coverage less often. Even when they do make it available, it may cost more and be less comprehensive. One reason: Small employers just don't have the bargaining clout with insurers that larger firms have.

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1:50am

Tue December 4, 2012
Shots - Health News

The (Huge And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:56 am

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year.
iStockphoto.com

What's the largest tax break in the federal tax code?

If you said the mortgage interest deduction, you'd be wrong. The break for charitable giving? Nope. How about capital gains, or state and local taxes? No, and no.

Believe it or not, dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers.

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3:18pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Shots - Health News

Evidence Mounts Linking Head Hits To Permanent Brain Injury

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:57 am

Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology and pathology of Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, inspects a brain in the Bedford Veteran Medical Center last year.
Stan Grossfeld Boston Globe via Getty Images

Researchers at Boston University have found more evidence supporting a link between repeated knocks to the head and chronic brain disease.

The results, just published in the journal Brain, add weight to concerns about the effect of repeated mild head trauma in athletes, whether they're pros or peewees.

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12:32pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Shots - Health News

Genome Sequencing For Babies Brings Knowledge And Conflicts

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:21 am

By sequencing a newborn's genome, doctors could screen for more genetic conditions. But parents could be confronted with confusing or ambiguous data about their baby's health.
iStockphoto.com

When Christine Rowan gave birth prematurely in August, her new baby was having problems breathing. So Rowan brought her daughter, Zoe, to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for genetic testing.

"It's funny because when we first had the testing done, we didn't even really think about the fact the testing was going to lay out all of her DNA," says Rowan, 32, who lives in Northern Virginia.

But while Rowan and her husband were waiting for the results, questions started popping into their heads.

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1:21am

Mon December 3, 2012
Shots - Health News

Text Messages Help Smokers Kick The Habit

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:21 am

In the U.K.-based program called Txt2stop, researchers sent smokers encouraging text messages, like the one above, to help them quit.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Some good news about texting: A review of studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration finds that smokers trying to quit the habit are helped in a big way by supportive messages sent via text.

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