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Workers comp prescription drug costs up in 2014

Published April 21, 2015 CST

Workers compensation prescription drug spending per worker increased 1.9% last year, but a 5.4% decrease in drug utilization helped offset a 7% increase in overall prescription costs, according to pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc.

ADM could use drones from 2016 to get crop insurance claims data

Published April 23, 2015 CST

(Reuters) — Archer Daniels Midland Co. plans to use drones to gather data on crop insurance claims as soon as the summer of 2016, its risk services head told Reuters on Wednesday.

Willis offers $594 million for rest of Gras Savoye

Published April 22, 2015 CST

Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. has offered approximately €550 million ($594.4 million) to acquire the remaining 70% of French broker Gras Savoye & Cie. that it does not currently own, Willis said Wednesday.

Financial incentives for wellness gain popularity

Published April 21, 2015 CST

The number of employers that use financial incentives to drive employee engagement in workplace wellness programs continued to grow in 2014, a new survey shows.

Captive benefit funding requests back on the fast track

Published April 21, 2015 CST

The U.S. Labor Department's final authorization of a health care service firm's application to fund benefit risks through its captive insurance company affirms that the door again is open to employers to seek fast regulatory review of their captive benefit funding proposals.

Soft commercial property/casualty insurance market continues

Published April 22, 2015 CST

Large accounts felt the greatest effects as the commercial property/casualty insurance market continued to soften during the first quarter of 2015, according to a study released Wednesday by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

Insurer not liable in case settled without its consent

Published April 20, 2015 CST

An insurer is not liable for a bad faith claim in a case where, contrary to policy language, an insured settled without the insurer's consent, says the Georgia Supreme Court, in a case involving an XL Reinsurance America Inc. unit.

Brown & Brown reports 11% revenue growth

Published April 21, 2015 CST

Brown & Brown Inc. reported first-quarter revenue of $404.3 million, up 11.2% over the first quarter of 2014 amid a 3.8% organic growth rate.

Controls limit workers comp drug price rise to 1.9%: Express Scripts

Published April 23, 2015 CST

Utilization controls for workers compensation pharmaceutical claims have limited opioid painkiller and compounded drug usage and helped contain escalating costs for those drug categories, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc. said.

Travelers profit drops 21% in first quarter

Published April 21, 2015 CST

Travelers Cos. Inc. reported net income of $833.0 million in the first quarter of 2015, a 21% decrease from the same period a year earlier that the property/casualty insurer attributed primarily to lower investment income, lesser prior-year reserve developments and slightly higher catastrophe losses.

Willis unveils risk analysis tools

Published April 21, 2015 CST

Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. on Tuesday launched analytical tools for determining natural catastrophe risk, cyber risk, directors and officers liability risk and casualty-related losses.

Clock's ticking for employers who overpaid ACA reinsurance fee

Published April 23, 2015 CST

Employers that realize they overpaid a health reform law-mandated “reinsurance” fee generally have until April 30 to seek a refund from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, regulators have disclosed.

Workers comp drug formulary bill moves in California

Published April 23, 2015 CST

A California bill that would establish a closed formulary for medications prescribed in the workers compensation system has unanimously passed the Assembly Insurance Committee.

Construction firms caught misclassifying workers must pay up

Published April 24, 2015 CST

The U.S. Department of Labor says a federal investigation has led 16 Utah and Arizona businesses to pay $700,000 in back wages, damages, penalties and other fees for misclassifying construction workers as company owners rather than employees.

Specialty drugs helping to drive up overall pharmacy costs

Published April 20, 2015 CST

Employees and retirees will see U.S. pharmacy cost increases reach the low double-digits by 2016 due in part to rising specialty drug costs, according to an analysis by Aon Hewitt released Monday.

Insurer not required to pay lawyer who didn't disclose procedural error

Published April 22, 2015 CST

A Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. unit was justified in denying a $1.75 million legal malpractice award, because the policyholder had failed to inform it of the case when he applied for coverage, an appeals court says.

Government had no right to take 80% in AIG bailout: Greenberg lawyer

Published April 22, 2015 CST

WASHINGTON — The federal government did not have the authority to demand nearly 80% of AIG's equity in return for financial assistance during the 2008 financial crisis, an attorney for AIG investors told a federal judge Wednesday.

More workers died on the job in 2013 than originally reported

Published April 22, 2015 CST

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday released revised worker fatality data showing that 4,585 workers died on the job in 2013, up from the preliminary count of 4,405 reported in September 2014.

Aspen repositioning as reinsurance rates shift

Published April 23, 2015 CST

Despite solid first-quarter financials, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. is repositioning itself amid persistent soft reinsurance prices and said Thursday that top executive Rupert Villers will step down later this year.

Policy checker program offers error solutions for brokers

Published April 23, 2015 CST

Document analysis software company Adsensa Ltd. has launched an insurance policy-checking product for North American brokers that aims to minimize potential errors and omissions exposures and reduce policy backlog.

Allied World reports income drop for first quarter

Published April 23, 2015 CST

Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings A.G. saw net income drop 29.7% to $124.4 million as expenses rose sharply and the company’s combined ratio worsened in the first quarter of 2015.

Whistleblowing compliance officer to get $1.5 million award

Published April 23, 2015 CST

A compliance officer will receive a whistleblower award of between $1.4 million and $1.6 million, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.

Business-backed group says ditch insurance mandates, give everyone credits

Published April 24, 2015 CST

Congress should overhaul the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies and scrap the individual and employer mandates, the Conference Board’s Committee for Economic Development said in a report.

HSBC reveals disclosure of mortgage customers' data

Published April 21, 2015 CST

Information on an undisclosed number of current and former mortgage customers of HSBC Finance Corp. was inadvertently disclosed over a period of several months, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Health reform law's approval rising slowly

Published April 21, 2015 CST

For the first time in nearly three years, more Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act than disapprove of it, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.