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Potential spread of Ebola virus raises insurance coverage concerns

Published October 26, 2014 CST

The possible spread of the Ebola virus in the United States is raising coverage concerns under commercial insurance ranging from general liability to the business interruption protection of property policies.

Insurers fight to bar cyber coverage under commercial general liability policies

Published October 26, 2014 CST

Recent legal efforts by insurers to bar cyber coverage under commercial general liability policies signal a new coverage battle between insurers and policyholders as costly data breaches proliferate.

Honeywell latest firm to draw EEOC scrutiny over wellness program penalties

Published October 29, 2014 CST

Honeywell International Inc. on Wednesday called the EEOC's recent lawsuit against the company over plans to penalize workers who refuse to participate in its workplace wellness program “frivolous” and “out of step.”

Insurance broker Aon launches Ebola liability cover

Published October 28, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — U.S. insurance broker Aon has launched Ebola liability cover for hospitals and other health care institutions, the company said on Tuesday.

Commercial insurance rates stable in third quarter: CIAB

Published October 29, 2014 CST

Average rates for commercial property/casualty insurance barely moved in the third quarter of 2014, the quarterly pricing survey released by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers finds.

Maximum 2015 FSA contribution allowed increased to $2,550

Published October 30, 2014 CST

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts will rise in 2015 by $50 to $2,550, while the maximum pretax contribution employees can make to cover mass transit expenses will be unchanged.

While executives more aware of cyber risks, only half buy insurance

Published October 28, 2014 CST

A survey Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. and Advisen Ltd. released Tuesday finds the recognition of cyber risk rising among risk managers and corporate boards, but the purchase of cyber liability insurance is leveling off.

Pennsylvania boosts drug monitoring, limits physician repackaging

Published October 28, 2014 CST

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed bills into law that expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and limit physician dispensing and drug repackaging.

Low-cost health plans pass online minimum value coverage test

Published October 26, 2014 CST

What may be a flaw in the federal government's online calculator to determine if employer-provided health insurance coverage meets the health care reform law's “minimum value” test is allowing employers to offer low-cost basic plans without triggering a big reform law penalty.

Captives may help with emerging Ebola, cyber risks

Published October 27, 2014 CST

Captives can be a useful tool to help insure and manage emerging threats in the health care industry, such as cyber risks and the Ebola virus, a panel of captive and health care industry experts said Monday.

MetLife to contest super-risky tag Monday

Published October 28, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — MetLife Inc. will plead against being branded a super-risky financial firm at a meeting next week with regulators, a company spokesman said, as the U.S. insurer tries to escape oversight by the Federal Reserve.

Malpractice suits often tap electronic medical records

Published October 27, 2014 CST

Electronic medical records can save money and improve medical outcomes, but using them incorrectly can create significant liability problems for health care providers, medical malpractice defense attorneys said.

Insurers prepare for own risk and solvency solvency assessments

Published October 26, 2014 CST

A robust enterprise risk management process can help insurers meet many states' requirements that they perform their own risk and solvency assessments next year, but the requirements also could cause some headaches.

California leads U.S. states in workers compensation costs

Published October 26, 2014 CST

A biennial ranking showing that workers compensation rates have risen more in California, New York and New Jersey than other states could help drive workers comp reforms nationwide.

Dallas company to pay $499,000 for sexual harassment, retaliation firings

Published October 27, 2014 CST

A jury for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, has awarded three former employees of a Dallas-based physician services provider nearly $500,000 in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit by the EEOC.

Open enrollment dominated by frustration over health care reform compliance

Published October 26, 2014 CST

Fall open enrollment for the 2015 group health plan year is being dominated by employer frustration and uncertainty about implementing coverage and IRS reporting requirements under the health care reform law's employer coverage mandate.

Gatorade's workplace fitness program not your average wellness initiative

Published October 29, 2014 CST

Imagine setting a fitness goal — and then announcing it to your entire workplace. Or joining your office-mates in a daily round of planks or jumping jacks.

Federal judge blocks new HHS workaround for birth-control coverage

Published October 30, 2014 CST

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday jumped into the latest round in the legal wrangling over a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision involving birth-control coverage and how it applies to religious institutions.

Women pay more than men for health care benefits: Mercer

Published October 24, 2014 CST

Women pay more for health benefits and receive less coverage, according to researchers at Mercer L.L.C.

Financial institutions identify cyber risk as major concern: Survey

Published October 23, 2014 CST

A total of 84% of global financial institutions identified cyber risk as one of their top five concerns in a third-quarter survey by Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

IRS announces maximum 401(k) plan contribution limits for 2015

Published October 23, 2014 CST

The maximum contribution that can be made to 401(k) plans in 2015 will rise to $18,000, up from the current $17,500 limit, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

Guy Carpenter practice to focus on health care providers and insurers

Published October 27, 2014 CST

Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C. is launching a U.S. Healthcare & Life Specialty Practice that will focus on the needs of health care providers and insurers, the New York-based reinsurance brokerage said Monday.

PBGC takes over food wholesaler’s pension plan; warns of 2015 rate hikes

Published October 27, 2014 CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has taken over the underfunded pension plan of White Rose Inc., an independent Carteret, New Jersey-based independent food wholesaler that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month and now is selling off assets.

Medical liability claims flat, but loss rates rising

Published October 28, 2014 CST

Hospitals will not be “fighting fires” concerning their professional liability insurance costs next year, said a co-author of a just-released study on the issue. “Things are pretty flat; things are pretty benign," said Erik Johnson.

Aon Hewitt unveils new health plan design for retirees

Published October 30, 2014 CST

A new retiree health care benefits design unveiled Thursday by Aon Hewitt and linked to its private health insurance exchange will give Medicare-eligible retirees greater financial incentives to select more cost-effective plans, the benefit consultant said.