Colle & McVoy, an advertising, marketing and PR firm in Minneapolis, allows its employees to buy medical insurance for their pets. The firm began offering the coverage in June and splits annual premium costs with employees who opt in to the innovative plan.
Major medical coverage for animals is purchased through a Colle & McVoy client, Veterinary Pet Insurance, and runs about $100 per year for pets aged 4 and younger, according to Bob Hettlinger, director of human resources at the firm. Insuring elderly animals costs more, and employees can add special cancer coverage or a plan that pays for standard vaccinations and routine visits to the vet, Hettlinger said.
It's a progressive plan, especially since the firm offers the pet insurance even to part-time employees.
The caretakers of those pets, however, aren't quite so lucky. While Colle & McVoy offers its full-timers health, dental, life and disability insurance, humans who work part-time for the agency don't qualify for such coverage.
Maybe they can buy in to the pet's plan?
A new option
Los Angeles Times
Until now, men with hypogonadism were treated with deep-muscle injections, which are painful and cause the hormone level to peak after three days and then decline erratically during the two weeks before the next shot.
Skin patches that release testosterone into the blood have been the most popular treatment option. But about 20 percent of men have allergic reactions to the patches. And the patches sometimes do not adhere well.
AndroGel, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February, uses the skin as a reservoir to release a steady amount of testosterone into the bloodstream. It is a colorless, topical gel that men apply once daily to the shoulders, upper arms or abdomen. The price for AndroGel has not been set, but it is expected to cost about $100 a month, similar to the cost of skin patches, says Robert E. Dudley, chief executive of Unimed Pharmaceuticals in Deerfield, Ill., the manufacturer of AndroGel.
with the Net
For worse or better, the Internet is coming to your health club, if it's not there already. Netpulse Communications of San Francisco has been attaching touch-screen monitors and broadband Internet connections to exercise bikes, treadmills and stepping machines.
The screens offer Internet access -- via a customized browser that requires annoying scrolling to view entire sites -- along with cable TV and a CD player. The units permit you to track your fitness progress via data stored by password. The machine also can access your profile and create workouts to match. To keep you coming back, the system offers ''Sweat Equity,'' a kind of frequent-flyer program for the persistent.
Netpulse CEO Tom Proulx, a co-founder of Intuit, debuted the system in 1997.
At the Capital City Club & Spa, a Washington health club that recently installed four units, response has been favorable. General manager Bari Catrone says ''it allows the downtown corporate group more time because they can take care of things -- like e-mail -- while on the equipment.'' While it distracts from the intensity of the workout, she says, it is keeping people on the equipment longer.
Just don't expect to exert yourself while viewing porn sites. Catrone had them blocked last week.
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