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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, according to a report issued Monday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

New Okla. workers comp commission does not have jurisdiction before February

By: Sheena Harrison

Published April 21, 2014 - 11:07am CST

The new Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission does not have jurisdiction to resolve workers comp disputes regarding injuries that happened before February 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled.

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

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.

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 10, 2014 - 2:17pm 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.

Senate approves PBGC premium prepayment measure

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 08, 2014 - 10:10am CST

Employers would be allowed to prepay up to five years of insurance premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. under legislation approved Monday by the Senate.

Treasury and IRS simplify retirement plan rollovers

By: Hazel Bradford, Pension & Investments

Published April 03, 2014 - 4:31pm CST

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued guidance Thursday that removes a cumbersome step sponsors of retirement plans must take when accepting rollovers from other employers' plans.

House votes to change PPACA full-time worker definition to 40 hours

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 03, 2014 - 3:09pm CST

The House of Representatives approved legislation to ease the health reform law's definition of a full-time employee by changing it to those working at least 40 hours per week, shielding more employers from a stiff financial penalty.

Oregon same-sex marriage ban 'wrong' and bad for business: Employers

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 02, 2014 - 10:52am CST

A group of large and midsize employers in Oregon says the state's ban on same-sex marriage is not only “morally and legally wrong,” it's also bad for business.

European Union publishes draft pensions directive

By: Sarah Veysey

Published April 02, 2014 - 9:07am CST

The European Union has published a draft directive intended to improve governance of occupational pensions, reduce the risks for plan members and to promote cross-border pensions, among other things.

Proposed bill would allow employers to prepay PBGC premiums

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 30, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A proposal to allow employers to prepay up to five years of insurance premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. could be an attractive short-term option for some employers, but the longer-term risks could outweigh the immediate financial rewards.

Business Insurance BROKER BEAT Video: Kapnick Insurance Group

Published March 28, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Associate Editor Bill Kenealy speaks with Jim Kapnick, president and CEO of Kapnick Insurance Group, on the issues affecting brokers in the Midwest region.

IRS details FSA $500 carryover-HSA contribution rules

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 28, 2014 - 2:06pm 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.

CMS says ready for last-minute insurance sign-up surge

By: Darius Tahir, Modern Healthcare

Published March 27, 2014 - 9:53am CST

CMS officials were eager, during a press call Wednesday, to present a message of readiness for prospective health insurance applicants rushing to sign up by the March 31 open enrollment deadline.

CVS employee sues drugstore chain over wellness fee

By: Matt Dunning

Published March 25, 2014 - 3:35pm CST

A CVS Pharmacy cashier in the Oakland, Calif., area claims in court that the company's practice of penalizing its employees for not completing a wellness examination violates California wage and hour laws.

Sharp divide remains over health care reform as 4th anniversary nears

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 24, 2014 - 11:58am CST

As the health reform law nears its fourth anniversary, the Obama administration and top congressional Republicans have very different views of what has been accomplished.

Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in PPACA birth control mandate cases

By: Matt Dunning

Published March 21, 2014 - 1:32pm CST

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the federal government's authority to compel private employers to provide contraceptive prescription coverage to their employees under the health care reform law.

Appeals court to hear challenge to health care reform law premium subsidies

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 21, 2014 - 10:38am CST

A federal appeals court in Washington will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the heart of the health care reform law — the extension of federal premium subsidies to millions of uninsured U.S. residents to buy coverage in public exchanges.

U.K. pensions shake-up throws insurance industry into turmoil

Published March 20, 2014 - 10:37am CST

(Reuters) — Britain's insurers will lose control of a market worth £15 billion ($25 billion) a year under a surprise pension reform announced by the government and will struggle to make up the hit to profits any time soon, according to analysts.

State health exchanges plan extensions for consumers thwarted by tech woes

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published March 19, 2014 - 4:25pm CST

Several state-based health insurance exchanges that have experienced technological problems are planning to extend enrollment beyond March 31. But only those who have started the enrollment process by the deadline will be eligible for extensions.

California health insurance exchange tops 1 million enrollees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 17, 2014 - 2:49pm CST

Enrollment in California's health insurance exchange, the largest public exchange authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has crossed the 1 million-enrollee mark, state officials said Monday.

Employers react to health care reform law rule on definition of part-time employee

By: Jerry Geisel

Published March 16, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Reducing the maximum number of hours part-time employees work each week was the only decision the Lawrence County, Pa., Board of Commissioners felt they could make to avoid huge costs imposed by the health care reform law.

Obama says enough people signed up to make U.S. health care law work

Published March 14, 2014 - 12:37pm CST

(Reuters) — President Barack Obama, aiming to allay concerns about the viability of his signature health care law, said on Friday enough people have enrolled to make its insurance marketplaces stable.

House passes SGR repeal with mandate penalty delay

By: Jessica Zigmond, Modern Healthcare

Published March 14, 2014 - 12:30pm CST

The House of Representatives passed legislation to repeal Medicare's physician payment formula in a bill that also would delay the health reform law's individual mandate penalty, setting the measure up for failure in the Senate.

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