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Most Recent Benefits Management News

Obama defends lack of 'Plan B' for ACA court case

Published March 03, 2015 - 10:12am CST

(Reuters) — President Barack Obama on Monday said he thinks there is no “plausible legal basis” for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a key plank of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, defending his administration's lack of a contingency plan.

'Cadillac' tax could diminish union health plans

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published March 03, 2015 - 9:40am CST

Health plans obtained through union collective bargaining agreements often include much more generous benefits than other employer-sponsored plans. But such benefits are likely to be pared down as the Affordable Care Act's excise tax nears.

Health reform law's fate hinges on interpretation of a few words

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published March 02, 2015 - 11:02am CST

After months of nervous speculation, it's finally the U.S. Supreme Court's turn this week to consider the legal case that could solidify or savage President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform law.

New same-sex marriage rules simplify FMLA benefits for employers

By: Matt Dunning

Published March 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

New regulations mandating federal emergency leave for all married same-sex couples may require employers to revise their policies and provide additional training, but it also should provide some administrative relief for benefit managers and human resources professionals.

IRS rules on health reform excise tax may lead to rethink of group plan design

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Many employers are likely to redesign the fastest growing group health plan design — high-deductible plans linked to health savings accounts — in the wake of forthcoming Internal Revenue Service regulations.

IRS lays out thinking related to areas of health reform law's excise tax

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

In its notice about upcoming rules to implement the “Cadillac” tax on high-cost health plans in 2018, the IRS laid out its thinking related to several areas of the health care reform law's excise tax.

Q&A: Ashok Subramanian, Liazon Corp.

Published March 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Ashok Subramanian is CEO of Liazon Corp. After co-founding the company in 2007, Mr. Subramanian sold Liazon to Towers Watson & Co. in November 2013 for $215 million. As of February, more than 900 employers were offering health care coverage to active employees and/or retirees through Liazon's “Bright Choices” exchange platform. Mr. Subramanian recently spoke with Business Insurance...

Affordable Care Act success benefits all

Published March 01, 2015 - 6:00am CST

If there ever was an example of what a difference a year makes, enrollment in the health care reform law public exchanges is it. When the 2014 open season began, potential exchange enrollees faced huge problems, not the least of which were malfunctioning and crashing websites and inordinate waits for telephone assistance.

Replacing health reform law a conundrum for conservatives

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published February 27, 2015 - 9:07am CST

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act inspired the usual red-meat rhetoric at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington on Thursday.

Actuaries urge leeway to change health plan rates if subsidies killed

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published February 26, 2015 - 8:53am CST

Health insurance actuaries are pushing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow plans to revise their rates for 2016 coverage if the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's premium subsidies in federally run exchanges.

Workplace mental health stigma persists

By: Matt Dunning

Published February 25, 2015 - 12:21pm CST

A growing number of employers have observed a persistent if not worsening workplace stigma associated with mental and behavioral health issues, according to a recent study by the Disability Management Employer Coalition.

Fitness enthusiasts help drive wellness program

By: Sheena Harrison

Published February 25, 2015 - 11:20am CST

CHICAGO — Zurich North America employees who are interested in fitness have served as “wellness champions” in the company's wellness program, helping to engage other Zurich employees and boost participation in the company's health initiatives, says Sarah Staggs, head of benefits for Zurich.

New Jersey recommends freezing state pension fund

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published February 25, 2015 - 9:35am CST

The New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission recommended freezing the $76.8 billion New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, and creating a new cash balance plan for current and future participants.

U.S. health official says no fix if ACA subsidies thrown out

Published February 25, 2015 - 9:27am CST

(Reuters) — The Obama administration has no way to repair the damage that would result from a Supreme Court decision against Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would make health care unaffordable for millions of Americans, a top health adviser said on Tuesday.

Humana, Weight Watchers team to curtail obesity

By: Shelby Livingston

Published February 24, 2015 - 2:13pm CST

Humana Inc. on Tuesday said it has partnered with Weight Watchers International Inc. to target employee obesity by providing weight management services to employers insured through Humana’s health care plans.