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Supreme Court reviewing pivotal health insurance exchange premium subsidy case

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The ability of employers to slash their early retiree health care costs will depend on the outcome of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether federal premium subsidies authorized by the health care reform law can be used by retirees to purchase coverage in federal health insurance exchanges.

California health insurance exchange’s open enrollment off to big start

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 21, 2014 - 3:14pm CST

California, the biggest public health insurance exchange, says enrollment for 2015 is far eclipsing the enrollment rate during the comparable period last year.

Judge rules Illinois pension reform law is unconstitutional

By: Meaghan Kilroy, Pensions & Investments

Published November 21, 2014 - 2:47pm CST

A Sangamon County, Illinois, Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that Illinois’ pension reform law passed last year is unconstitutional.

Obama administration fudged exchange enrollment with stand-alone dental plans

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published November 21, 2014 - 9:10am CST

Alex Wayne reports for Bloomberg that the government inflated its 2014 enrollment figures for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges by including dental plans with medical plans.

Judge to hear arguments over Illinois pension reform law

Published November 20, 2014 - 11:08am CST

(Reuters) — Illinois faces an uphill battle on Thursday to defend the constitutionality of a law aimed at easing the state's huge unfunded pension liability.

PBGC deficit hits record $61.7B in 2014

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 17, 2014 - 1:12pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s deficit hit a record $61.7 billion in fiscal 2014, the agency said Monday.

Employers get until Dec. 5 to file ACA's reinsurance fee forms

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 17, 2014 - 10:30am CST

Federal regulators have given employers until Dec. 5 to submit a form with information that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will use to calculate a “reinsurance” fee.

Court dismisses lawsuit challenging Atlanta pension reform

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published November 13, 2014 - 2:26pm CST

A Fulton County Superior Court judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of higher employee contributions for participants in Atlanta's three pension funds.

HHS dramatically scales back open health care exchange enrollment projection

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published November 10, 2014 - 2:15pm CST

The Obama administration is dramatically reducing expectations for the health care exchange open enrollment period that begins Saturday.

Washington State lawmakers urge IRS to ease direct primary plan regulations

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published November 09, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Lawmakers from the state of Washington are asking federal regulators to allow employers to offer direct primary care plans in conjunction with health savings account-qualified high-deductible health plans.

IRS’ lack of definitive drugs list has firms fully covering maintenance meds

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published November 09, 2014 - 6:00am CST

More and more employers are covering maintenance medications at 100% in health savings account-qualified high-deductible health plans, despite IRS rules that limit such coverage only to preventive medicines and medical services.

Power shift in Congress sets stage for amendments to health care reform law

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 09, 2014 - 6:00am CST

After strong Republican gains in last week's midterm elections, the stage now appears set for a bipartisan effort to amend the nation's landmark health care reform law.

Q&A: Sibyl Bogardus, Hub International Ltd.

Published November 09, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Sibyl Bogardus is Hub International Ltd.'s Salt Lake City-based chief compliance officer for the Western region, and is a nationally recognized expert in employee benefits regulation. Recently, she spoke with Business Insurance Associate Editor Matt Dunning about key compliance issues facing benefit managers in the coming months. Edited excerpts follow.

Republican control of Senate opens door to health reform law amendments

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 05, 2014 - 2:39pm CST

Legislative action and passage of measures to amend the health care reform law are certain in the wake of Tuesday's congressional elections in which Republicans regained control of the Senate.

Japanese firm to pay PBGC $39.5M for pension in U.S. subsidiary's bankruptcy

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 05, 2014 - 10:07am CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Asahi Tec Corp., a Japanese metal casting and forging company, will pay the agency $39.5 million, settling a long-running legal dispute involving the pension plan of Asahi Tec subsidiary Metaldyne Corp.

Judge allows Honeywell wellness penalties to stand during EEOC lawsuit

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 04, 2014 - 10:21am CST

A federal judge has rejected the EEOC's request for an order temporarily barring Honeywell International Inc. from penalizing workers who refused to participate in its workplace wellness program.

Health plans that fail ACA minimum value test to get one-year pass: IRS

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 04, 2014 - 10:18am CST

Group health care plans that do not provide coverage for hospital care will not pass the health care reform law's “minimum value” test, but the Internal Revenue Service is giving a one-year pass to existing or soon to be implemented plans excluding the coverage.

New York workers comp assessment rate dropping in 2015

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published November 03, 2014 - 11:28am CST

New York's workers compensation assessment rate will drop to 13.2% as of 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Supreme Court won't hear Obamacare subsidy case for now

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published November 03, 2014 - 10:30am CST

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear King v. Burwell — a case with the potential to sink the nation's new health care law — at least for now.

Q&A: Robert Dubraski, Dubraski & Associates Insurance Services L.L.C.

Published October 29, 2014 - 1:24pm CST

Robert J. Dubraski is president and CEO of Dubraski & Associates Insurance Services L.L.C. in San Diego, an insurance brokerage that specializes in serving the health care industry across all lines of business. He spoke with Business Insurance Senior Editor Judy Greenwald about risk management issues facing the health care industry. Edited excerpts follow.

Captives may help with emerging Ebola, cyber risks

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 27, 2014 - 5:42pm CST

Captives can be a useful tool to help insure and manage emerging threats in the health care industry, such as cyber risks and the Ebola virus, a panel of captive and health care industry experts said Monday.

Open enrollment dominated by frustration over health care reform compliance

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Fall open enrollment for the 2015 group health plan year is being dominated by employer frustration and uncertainty about implementing coverage and IRS reporting requirements under the health care reform law's employer coverage mandate.

Pennsylvania curbs physician prescription drug dispensing and repackaging

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Pennsylvania is the latest state taking action to limit physician dispensing and drug repackaging to control workers compensation costs and ensure better claimant outcomes.

Deferred annuity tax hurdle cleared

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A recent U.S. Treasury Department regulation cleared an obstacle for retirees wanting to use a chunk of their defined contribution plan accounts to purchase retirement annuities that don't pay monthly benefits until long after they have retired.

Group takes on Medicare rules to promote value-based plan designs

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A Washington-based employer benefits lobbying organization is seeking changes to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act that would make it easier for companies to implement value-based insurance designs in high-deductible health care plans with health savings accounts.

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