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MinuteClinic becomes provider with Assurant Health

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, which is a subsidiary of CVS Caremark, has become a participating provider with Assurant Health, a national provider of individual medical, small group and specialty health insurance products.

Assurant Health, which is based in Milwaukee, serves 1.1 million people in the United States.

“By offering quality and convenient treatment that is covered by companies such as Assurant Health, we are helping to reduce costs and the time patients spend away from their families and the workplace,” stated Michael Howe, MinuteClinic chief executive officer.

Assurant Health members can visit a MinuteClinic location in the following markets: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit, Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, Northern New Jersey, the New York City metro area, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Seattle, South Florida, Southern Connecticut, Winston-Salem/Greensboro, the Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C. and the Virginia suburbs.

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Union ratifies new contract for Puget Sound-area grocery workers

BY Adam Kraemer

SEATTLE After five months of negotiations, union and management announced Tuesday that a contract agreement had been reached for grocery workers in Puget Sound-area Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer and Albertsons stores, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Workers ratified with 92 percent approval a 3-year deal, which covers more than 20,000 people, including cashiers, clerks and meat department employees.

“This is a great contract for grocery workers,” said Jackie O’Ryan, a spokeswoman for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. “They set very strong, clear goals from the beginning that they wanted strong wage increases and health care to be more affordable, and they met those goals and more.”

Highlights of the deal include fully covered in-network preventive care, insurance coverage beginning the fourth month of employment rather than the tenth, a prescription plan that includes $5 copays on generics, and wage increases over the next three years of $1.30 per hour.

The deal also features an employer-funded health reimbursement account at $500 per member or $1,000 per family and same-sex partner benefits.

“It’s rather remarkable,” O’Ryan told the Post-Intelligencer, “when most of corporate America is focused on growing profits by cutting health care benefits,” The negotiations stand in contrast to those earlier this year between Safeway and workers in Southern California, which almost resulted in a strike when there was no agreement three months after the old contract expired.

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Idea Village launches NutraMist oral spray supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Idea Village recently launched a line of fast-acting oral spray supplements, under the NutraMist brand, that will be available in September.

The exclusive NutraMist “SmartSpray” rapid-release technology emits micro-size droplets of the ultra-concentrated formula that can be quickly absorbed in the body, the company stated.

Each 0.5 fl oz bottle of NutraMist contains 180 sprays, enough for a month’s supply. The line includes four SKUs:

  • NutraMist Energy Shots: A source of Vitamin B12, it boosts energy without caffeine. The formula also contains Ginseng and Green Tea, and comes in a “fruity blast” flavor. NutraMist Energy Shots is calorie free, sugar free, alcohol free and carb free.
  • NutraMist Crave Control: A spray containing Hoodia, it helps dieters stay in control when tempted with sweets, salty snacks and other “bad foods.” The formula also contains chromium and green tea extract, and it comes in a mint flavor.
  • NutraMist Crave Control: A spray containing Hoodia, it helps dieters stay in control when tempted with sweets, salty snacks and other “bad foods.” The formula also contains chromium and green tea extract, and it comes in a mint flavor.
  • NutraMist Immune Boost: A blend of Vitamin C, zinc and echinacea, it boosts immunity with 17 antioxidants and botanicals, and it comes in a tropical burst flavor.

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