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Most Read Benefits Management News

Mercer projects health reform law's 2015 penalties, HSA and HDHP tax limits

Published April 18, 2014 CST

Mercer L.L.C. has projected the amounts employers can expect to pay in 2015 for failing to comply with the health care reform law's “play or pay” provisions in a report released on Tuesday.

UnitedHealth expanding presence in federal exchanges in 2015

Published April 21, 2014 CST

UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest insurer, plans to expand its presence in the state and federal exchange marketplaces in 2015.

Medicare chief Jonathan Blum leaving Obama administration

Published April 22, 2014 CST

The Obama administration's top Medicare official is stepping down from his post.

Health care exchanges look more appealing to insurers the 2nd time around

Published April 21, 2014 CST

Health insurers appear to be increasingly bullish on the fledgling state and federal exchanges, in spite of disastrous rollouts in many of the online marketplaces last fall. Mounting evidence suggests more health plans are poised to compete for exchange business during the 2015 open-enrollment period.

IRS bumps up health savings account contribution max for 2015

Published April 23, 2014 CST

The maximum contributions that can be made to health savings accounts will increase $50 for individuals and $100 for families in 2015.

California sees health exchange surge as open enrollment ends for 2014

Published April 18, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — Thanks to a final April surge, California's health care exchange marketplace enrolled a total of 1.4 million people in private health insurance plans, state officials announced Thursday.

States that did not expand Medicaid may see higher premiums: Health experts

Published April 23, 2014 CST

Some industry experts are warning that states that chose not to expand Medicaid coverage under Obamacare could see higher insurance premiums next year as hospitals continue to shift the costs of uncompensated care to private insurers.

Sebelius' Enroll America fundraising limited to two calls: GAO

Published April 22, 2014 CST

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' fundraising efforts on behalf of a not-for-profit group leading Obamacare enrollment efforts were limited to two previously disclosed phone calls.

Small employers fuel recent growth of defined contribution plans

Published April 22, 2014 CST

More than 90% of pension plans that have been formed in recent years have been defined contribution plans, with the overwhelming majority of those plans set up by small employers.

PPACA enrollment tops 8 million, Obama says

Published April 17, 2014 CST

Enrollment in health plans sold on Obamacare's insurance exchanges has reached 8 million, and 35% of those who signed up through are under the age of 35, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Tenn. passes bill requiring some local governments to make full pension contributions

Published April 23, 2014 CST

The Tennessee Legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk that will require some local governments in the state to increase the contributions to their pension funds.

Employers switch to high-deductible plans and private exchanges to cut costs

Published April 13, 2014 CST

Benefit managers who are looking to control rising health care costs have converging trends that can aid them in that effort.

Misdiagnosis could affect 12 million U.S. adults annually: Study

Published April 17, 2014 CST

An estimated 1 in 20 U.S. adults could be misdiagnosed during outpatient visits, and about half of those errors could prove to be harmful for the patient, finds a new study in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety.

Flexible spending accounts' future uncertain as health care rules evolve

Published April 13, 2014 CST

Internal Revenue Service guidance resolves how to integrate health savings accounts with carry-over flexible spending accounts, but employer interest in carry-over FSAs appears limited.

Intel OK'd to fund benefits through captive insurer

Published April 09, 2014 CST

The U.S. Labor Department has given final authorization for Intel Corp. to use its Hawaii captive insurer to fund benefit risks.

U.S. health care usage, spending resume rise in 2013: Report

Published April 15, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — Americans used more health services and spent more on prescription drugs in 2013, reversing a recent trend, though greater use of cheaper generic drugs helped control spending, according to a new report.

Worker participation in wellness programs most common success metric: Survey

Published April 03, 2014 CST

Employee participation in specific workplace wellness initiatives remains the most common metric by which employers measure the success of their overall health management programs, according to a report released Thursday.

PBGC reaches settlement with Saint-Gobain to prevent pension plan takeover

Published April 16, 2014 CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has reached a settlement that will allow Saint-Gobain Containers Inc., Muncie, Ind., to continue as the sponsor of its pension plan following threats by the agency to take possession of the plan.

IRS details FSA $500 carryover-HSA contribution rules

Published March 28, 2014 CST

Long-awaited IRS guidance details how employees will be able to carry over up to $500 in unused contributions remaining in flexible spending accounts and not lose their ability to contribute to health savings accounts.

Health care reform rules limit waiting period for health benefits to 90 days

Published February 20, 2014 CST

Newly hired employees must be offered health insurance coverage no later than 90 days after they begin work under final health care reform law regulations.

Coventry acquisition helps Aetna report increased revenue and profit

Published March 30, 2014 CST

Propelled largely by its successful acquisition of Coventry Health Care Inc., Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna Inc. posted the strongest 2013 performance among the five largest publicly traded U.S. health insurers.

Health care firm Bswift lands $51M from private equity fund

Published April 02, 2014 CST

Bswift L.L.C., a health care benefits software firm, has received $51 million from a private equity fund to keep up with torrid growth.

CBO predicts 6% annual premium hikes for Obamacare plans this decade

Published April 14, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — The average premium for an Obamacare benchmark plan will rise slightly in 2015 and increase about 6% a year during the rest of this decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Monday.

Towers Watson unveils retiree health care risk transfer program

Published March 24, 2014 CST

An innovative risk transfer program unveiled by Towers Watson & Co. will allow employers to assure continuation of the funding of health care coverage for retirees through the purchase of a group annuity from participating insurers.

Bswift launches private exchange for health and voluntary benefits

Published February 04, 2014 CST

Bswift Inc., a Chicago-based benefits consulting and information technology services firm, on Tuesday announced the launch of its private health and voluntary benefits exchange, Springboard Marketplace.