Current Issue

Subscriber only, premium content. Monday, January 11

Most Emailed Benefits Management News

Employers scramble to keep lid on climbing specialty drug costs

Published December 15, 2015 CST

The hefty price tags on specialty drugs have forced employers to take aggressive steps to tackle the rising costs of these controversial medications.

IRS extends health insurance reporting deadlines

Published December 28, 2015 CST

The Internal Revenue Service said Monday that it is giving employers additional time to file health care reform law mandated coverage reports.

Congress passes omnibus bill containing Cadillac tax delay

Published December 18, 2015 CST

Good news for those opposed to the health care reform law's hefty 'Cadillac' tax: A $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, which includes a provision to delay the controversial excise tax, has been approved by both houses of Congress.

Two-year 'Cadillac' tax delay may signal repeal later

Published December 16, 2015 CST

Business groups and employers that have called for the repeal of the health care reform law's controversial 'Cadillac' tax may be on the verge of scoring a major victory.

Employer requiring wellness program participation prevails over EEOC

Published January 08, 2016 CST

Battles over the legality of wellness programs are just beginning, but a recent Wisconsin U.S. District Court ruling against the EEOC signifies a small victory for employers.

Penalties increasing for employers not offering health coverage

Published December 18, 2015 CST

The fine is going up for employers who don't offer health care coverage. Those who fail to do so in 2016 will pay an even higher penalty than they did last year.

Anthem 401(k) plan participants sue company over higher fees

Published January 06, 2016 CST

Participants in the $5.1 billion Anthem Inc. 401(k) plan, Indianapolis, sued plan executives, alleging breaches of fiduciary duties by paying “unreasonable” record-keeping expenses and failing to choose lower-cost investment options.

(subscription required)Cadillac tax delay gives employers relief

Published December 20, 2015 CST

The $1.1 trillion budget deal recently approved by Congress offers a ray of hope to those opposed to the health care reform law's unpopular excise tax.

Hospitals launch specialty pharmacies to curb drug costs

Published December 15, 2015 CST

Large health systems are jumping into the specialty pharmacy business in an effort to exert some control over the soaring cost of specialty drugs.

Health insurers struggle on federal exchange, but new data could limit losses

Published January 06, 2016 CST

Most insurers have been underwhelmed by the performance of their plans on the federal health exchange, but it may be too soon to throw in the towel.

Delay of Cadillac tax included in budget passed by House

Published December 18, 2015 CST

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes a provision to delay the “Cadillac” tax on costly group health plans by two years.

America's Health Insurance Plans takes second big blow with Aetna leaving

Published January 05, 2016 CST

Another top-five health insurer is ditching the financially beleaguered industry lobbying group.

Health premium discount incentives not a weight-losing proposition

Published January 07, 2016 CST

A new study found that offering discounts on health insurance premiums for employees who meet weight loss goals is unlikely to yield results.

Broker EPIC acquires benefits consulting firm

Published January 08, 2016 CST

San Francisco-based insurance broker and consultant Edgewood Partners Insurance Center has acquired employee benefits consulting firm Ascende Inc., expanding the broker's footprint in the Southwest.

Express Scripts, Anthem pricing talks could benefit both

Published December 23, 2015 CST

The time may be ripe for both companies to get their best deal.

(subscription required)Health insurer megamergers not all wrapped up

Published January 03, 2016 CST

The proposed merger of Aetna and Humana, as well as that of Anthem and Cigna, may have been given the green light from shareholders, but the deals are far from a sure thing.

Walgreens' Rite Aid acquisition attracts antitrust scrutiny

Published December 14, 2015 CST

The Federal Trade Commission is taking a hard look at Walgreens' proposed $17.2 billion acquisition of rival drugstore chain Rite Aid.

Illinois' unfunded pension liabilities increase 6.1% to $111 billion

Published December 11, 2015 CST

Inadequate state contributions and strengthened mortality assumptions are to blame for the funding decline in Illinois' five state retirement plans.

Maximum FSA contribution to remain at $2,550 for 2016

Published October 21, 2015 CST

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts next year will remain unchanged from this year.

Health care exchange deadline extended through Dec. 17

Published December 16, 2015 CST

Amid “unprecedented demand” to enroll in health coverage for Jan. 1, the Obama administration has given customers an extra 48 hours to sign up through the federal health exchange.

Why hospital-owned health plans are big in Wisconsin

Published December 10, 2015 CST

Wisconsin is known for its dairy farming and rolling hills, but some health care experts call it a trailblazer.

Company doctoring: More employers offer on-site clinics

Published December 08, 2015 CST

Laitram Machinery Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of shrimp-peeling machines, in 2012 joined a growing list of large U.S. employers that have opened on-site health clinics in an effort to control the rising costs of their health benefit programs.

(subscription required)Health care reform still setting agenda for employee benefits

Published December 20, 2015 CST

When it came to benefits management issues in 2015, controversial health care reform law developments dominated once again.

(subscription required)Business groups keep pressure on Cadillac tax

Published January 03, 2016 CST

Congressional support to repeal the widely criticized Cadillac tax on costly health plans is growing, but the outcome of that drive is uncertain.

Health insurance exchange signups surging

Published January 06, 2016 CST

Sharply rising penalties are proving to be an effective motivator.