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Most Recent Benefits Management News

Aetna quarterly profit beats forecasts as new members surge

Published April 24, 2014 - 11:03am CST

(Reuters) — Aetna Inc. on Thursday reported a better-than-expected first quarter, helped by a surge in profits from its commercial business and by adding new customers.

Defined contribution plan contributions, withdrawals in line with 2012: Survey

By: Rob Kozlowski | Pensions & Investments

Published April 24, 2014 - 9:38am CST

Defined contribution plan participants are continuing to contribute to their plans, while plan withdrawals remained low, according to a survey from the Investment Company Institute.

Segal Group starts new DC plan consulting leadership team

By: Rob Kozlowski | Pensions & Investments

Published April 24, 2014 - 9:25am CST

The Segal Group is creating a new leadership team of defined contribution plan consultants led by Robert A. Liberto, senior vice president, at subsidiary Segal Rogerscasey, said spokeswoman Mary Feldman.

IRS bumps up health savings account contribution max for 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 23, 2014 - 2:23pm CST

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

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

By: Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare

Published April 23, 2014 - 8:53am 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.

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

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published April 23, 2014 - 8:43am 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.

Medicare chief Jonathan Blum leaving Obama administration

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 22, 2014 - 12:35pm CST

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

Sebelius' Enroll America fundraising limited to two calls: GAO

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 22, 2014 - 10:39am 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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 22, 2014 - 10:26am 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.

UnitedHealth expanding presence in federal exchanges in 2015

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 21, 2014 - 9:19am CST

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

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

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 21, 2014 - 9:18am 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.

California sees health exchange surge as open enrollment ends for 2014

Published April 18, 2014 - 9:50am 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.

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

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 18, 2014 - 9:00am 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.

PPACA enrollment tops 8 million, Obama says

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 17, 2014 - 4:44pm 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.

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

By: Sabriya Rice, Modern Healthcare

Published April 17, 2014 - 11:15am 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.

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

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published April 16, 2014 - 2:51pm 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.

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

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 16, 2014 - 11:19am 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.

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

Published April 15, 2014 - 9:22am 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 - 3:14pm 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.

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

Published April 14, 2014 - 2:31pm 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.

Flexible spending accounts' future uncertain as health care rules evolve

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 13, 2014 - 6:00am 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.

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 13, 2014 - 6:00am 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.

OPINION: Public health exchanges reach enrollment goal

Published April 13, 2014 - 6:00am 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.

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

By: Bill Kenealy

Published April 13, 2014 - 6:00am CST

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

Focusing on chronic illness management reduces overall health costs over time

By: Bill Kenealy

Published April 13, 2014 - 6:00am 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.