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Most Recent Benefits Management News

Private health insurance exchanges expected to boom

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 4:00pm CST

Private health insurance exchanges are poised for rapid growth, according to a new analysis.

Voluntary benefits could hold key to health care reform excise tax

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:04pm CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland. — Some U.S. employers are beginning to use voluntary medical benefit plans to minimize the prospects of sharp health care cost increases in the coming years as a result of health care reform.

New health care tax looms for many employers who don't change plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:02pm CST

Without design changes to their health care plans, nearly half of large employers could be liable for a federal excise tax created by the health care reform law when it takes effect in 2018, according to a new analysis by Towers Watson & Co.

American Benefits Council asks Washington for simplified retirement approach

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published September 23, 2014 - 1:44pm CST

Employers need more flexibility and simplicity in providing retirement and other benefits, officials with the American Benefits Council said Tuesday as they unveiled a strategic plan for where employee benefits should be in 2020.

Magnetek offers pension plan participants lump sum conversion option

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 1:13pm CST

Magnetek Inc. disclosed Tuesday that it is offering to 35% of its 8,000 defined benefit pension plan participants the option to convert their monthly annuity benefit to a cash lump sum benefit.

American Axle to offer lump-sum pension payments to 6,000 former employees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 10:19am CST

Auto parts manufacturer American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. says it will offer up to about 6,000 former employees the opportunity to convert their monthly annuity benefit to a cash lump sum benefit.

Anthem, LA providers creating HMO to compete with Kaiser

By: Melanie Evans, Modern Healthcare

Published September 22, 2014 - 9:16am CST

An unusual joint venture between Anthem Blue Cross and seven competing Los Angeles-area hospital systems to offer employers a low-priced HMO plan underscores the eagerness of insurers and providers to try novel and risky strategies to survive in the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace.

House approves bill defining full-time employees as those working 40 hours

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 3:24pm CST

For the second time this year, the House of Representatives approved legislation to ease the health care reform law's definition of a full-time employee by changing it to those working an average of at least 40 hours per week.

IRS bumps up maximum interest rate for cash balance plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 2:00pm CST

Final Internal Revenue Service regulations will allow cash balance pension plan sponsors to use slightly higher rates when crediting interest to employees’ account balances.

Health exchanges cover 7.3 million people: HHS regulator

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 1:15pm CST

About 7.3 million people were enrolled in federal and state health insurance exchanges as of Aug. 15, 700,000 fewer than the 8 million Americans who signed up for coverage during the first three months following the opening of the exchanges on Jan. 1, a top federal regulator disclosed.

ACA's medical outcomes research fee to increase

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 12:47pm CST

A medical outcomes research fee mandated by the health care reform law and paid by self-funded employers and insurers is going up slightly.

Employers support same-sex marriage for Texas, other southern states

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 18, 2014 - 3:17pm CST

A group of employers has urged a judicial panel in New Orleans to uphold same-sex couples' right to legally marry in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Aon Hewitt said users of private health exchange saw lower costs in 2014

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 18, 2014 - 1:59pm CST

Employers and individuals participating in Aon Hewitt’s private health insurance exchange saw reductions in their health care costs for the 2014 plan year, the benefits consultant said Thursday.

Mid-market consultant Benefits Resource joins Digital Benefits Advisors

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 17, 2014 - 1:58pm CST

Atlanta-based Digital Benefits Advisors on Wednesday said it has added Benefits Resource L.L.C., an Aliso Viejo, California-based consultant, to its nationwide network of employee benefits-only service providers.

Coke, J&J join big companies behind new employee wellness push

Published September 17, 2014 - 10:35am CST

(Reuters) — Leaders of some of the biggest U.S. corporations unveiled a campaign on Tuesday to reduce the nation's health care costs, urging their peers to embrace wellness programs to improve employee health.