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Most Read Benefits Management News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 HealthCare.gov are under the age of 35, President Barack Obama said 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.

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.

Focusing on chronic illness management reduces overall health costs over time

Published April 13, 2014 CST

A still-unsettled issue in health care cost containment is the potential of wellness and case management programs to reduce costs overall or over time.

U.S. CBO estimates slightly lower deficits as health subsidies fall

Published April 14, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — U.S. budget deficits over the next decade will be $286 billion less than previously estimated, the Congressional Budget Office said, attributing the decline to lower estimates of subsidy costs under the health care reform law.

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.

Funding of large employers' pension plans fell $5B in March: Milliman

Published April 16, 2014 CST

The funding levels of pension plans sponsored by large publicly held U.S. employers fell nearly $5 billion in March, primarily due to asset underperformance and interest rate decreases, according to a new report by Milliman Inc.

Coordinated medical delivery supports employers' health care cost-cutting efforts

Published April 13, 2014 CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — There may be a silver lining to employers' move to high-deductible health plans: It is making medical providers more conscious of the need to control costs.

Obama taps budget director as new health secretary after Sebelius resigns

Published April 11, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after overseeing the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reforms.

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.

OPINION: Public health exchanges reach enrollment goal

Published April 13, 2014 CST

We'd be remiss if we didn't take note of a positive health care reform law development: the surge in enrollment in public health insurance exchanges. The Obama administration's announcement this month that more than 7 million individuals have enrolled in the 51 exchanges administered by the states and the federal government is a huge achievement.

Katy Spangler joins American Benefits Council as health policy lead

Published April 11, 2014 CST

Katy Spangler, a former congressional health policy staffer, will join the American Benefits Council next month as its senior vice president of health policy, the Washington-based employer benefits lobbying organization announced Wednesday.

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.

Same-sex retirement benefits retroactive to June 2013, IRS rules

Published April 07, 2014 CST

Employers are not required to retroactively offer qualified retirement benefits to married same-sex couples for plan years predating the U.S. Supreme Court's partial overturn of DOMA.

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.

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.

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.

Take politics out of health care delivery, Oregon governor urges

Published April 10, 2014 CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — At a time when bipartisan cooperation on making changes to the nation's health care delivery system is virtually nonexistent, it is time to take politics out of it, one governor says.

Health insurance exchanges top 7.5 million as late sign-ups continue

Published April 10, 2014 CST

Even with the formal registration period ended, enrollment in public health insurance exchanges continues to grow and now tops 7.5 million, federal health officials said Thursday.

No new pensions at top 100 U.K. public companies: Towers Watson

Published April 10, 2014 CST

There are no companies left in the London Stock Exchange's FTSE 100 that offer a final salary pension plan as their primary retirement plan for new employees, according to research by consultant Towers Watson & Co.

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.