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Claims severity continues to rise in U.S. health care facilities: Study

By: Bill Kenealy

Published November 26, 2014 - 1:34pm CST

A study released by Zurich North America on Wednesday finds claims severity continuing to rise at U.S. health care facilities, while claim frequency has remained stable.

More companies extending LGBT-inclusive benefits to employees: Survey

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 25, 2014 - 1:48pm CST

The percentage of U.S. companies offering LGBT-inclusive health and retirement benefits continued to grow in 2014, according to new survey data from the Washington-based nonprofit Human Rights Campaign.

GE will steer workers to Northwestern Memorial for hips and knees

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published November 25, 2014 - 9:01am CST

General Electric Co. has contracted with Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be one of GE's four centers of excellence for total hip and knee replacement surgeries.

HHS warns employers about skimpy health plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 24, 2014 - 2:03pm CST

The HHS is warning employers that group health care plans that do not provide coverage for inpatient hospital and physician services will not pass the health reform law's “minimum value” test, the second federal agency to do so.

HHS proposes third-year fee of $27 for ACA reinsurance program

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 24, 2014 - 10:44am CST

Self-funded employers and other health care plan sponsors would have to pay $27 for each health plan enrollee in the third and final year of the Transitional Reinsurance Program authorized by the health care reform law, federal regulators proposed Friday.

Many private health exchange options for post-65 retirees

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

There are as many as 100 private exchange options available to employers offering post-65 retiree health benefits, according to research by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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.

Employers focus on health insurance plans providing better care and lower costs

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

WASHINGTON — Employers and health insurers are pursuing fresh benefit plan designs and communication strategies aimed at reducing medical costs and improving overall health conditions among employees and their families.

Legal challenges make employers wary of moving early retirees to public health exchanges

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Most employers are taking a wait-and-see approach before sending their early retirees to public exchanges to get health insurance.

Employers moving post-65 retirees to private health insurance exchanges

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A growing number of employers that offer health insurance to post-65 retirees are turning to private exchanges since the health care reform law took effect to provide coverage on an individual basis, often at a lower cost than their group plans could.

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.

House Republicans launch long-discussed anti-ACA lawsuit

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published November 21, 2014 - 12:50pm CST

House Republicans filed their long-awaited lawsuit Friday challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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.

Employers to stick with health plan designs in 2015, add wellness incentives

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 20, 2014 - 3:15pm CST

Very few employers are planning to make drastic changes to their group health benefit plans in 2015, opting instead to add incentives to workplace wellness programs, according to new survey data.

Group health care plans see modest cost increases: Mercer

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 19, 2014 - 9:00am CST

Aided by a surge in enrollment in high-deductible plans, group health care plan costs have continued to increase modestly this year, according to a survey by Mercer L.L.C.

Health insurers exhale after smooth start to open enrollment

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published November 18, 2014 - 10:03am CST

A flood of calls and applications in the first days of Obamacare's second open-enrollment period didn't crash the enrollment websites like last year, but it will take a few days to check the accuracy of the information insurers are getting from the exchanges.

AIG promotes exec to CEO of life, health and disability

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published November 14, 2014 - 12:15pm CST

Charlie Shamieh has been named CEO of life, health and disability insurance at American International Group Inc., effective in March 2015, AIG announced Thursday.

Employer communications about health, retirement benefits lag: Survey

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 13, 2014 - 3:19pm CST

While a majority of employers say they want to improve their employees' understanding in health and retirement benefits, a recent survey says less have implemented the necessary communication strategies.

Physician dispensing of prescription drugs down slightly in Connecticut: WCRI

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published November 13, 2014 - 11:45am CST

Physician dispensing of repackaged prescription drugs has “decreased slightly” in Connecticut since workers compensation reforms took effect in July 2012, the Workers Compensation Research Institute said Thursday.

Group health plan costs up 4.4% in 2014; Aon Hewitt predicts bigger 2015 rise

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 13, 2014 - 8:43am CST

Group health care plan costs increased on average by a relatively modest 4.4% in 2014, but bigger increases likely lay ahead, according to new research released by Aon Hewitt.

UnitedHealth CFO Wichmann takes president title as team shuffles

Published November 12, 2014 - 9:25am CST

(Reuters) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. on Wednesday said Chief Financial Officer David Wichmann will become president effective immediately, reporting to Chief Executive Stephen Hemsley.

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.

Supreme Court to review case on federal health exchange premium subsidies

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 07, 2014 - 2:14pm CST

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether health care reform law premium subsidies are available to the millions of uninsured Americans obtaining health care coverage through federal insurance exchanges.

Benefits broker Terrill launches own health benefits exchange

By: Matt Dunning

Published November 05, 2014 - 3:22pm CST

J. W. Terrill Inc. has launched its own private health benefits exchange, the St. Louis-based insurance and benefits broker announced on Wednesday.

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