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Company's harsh penalties for skipping wellness program draw EEOC action again

By: Judy Greenwald

Published October 01, 2014 - 1:44pm CST

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing another company with the charge its wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

National Council proposes workers comp rate hike for Hawaii in 2015

By: Bill Kenealy

Published October 01, 2014 - 12:26pm CST

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has proposed a 3.2% rate increase in Hawaii workers compensation advisory rates for 2015.

U.S. Court in Oklahoma rules against ACA subsidies on federal exchange

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 01, 2014 - 11:42am CST

Another federal court judge has ruled that the IRS overstepped its authority in 2012 rules authorizing government health insurance premium subsides.

Unity Health uses FSA carry-over option to ease employee stress over lost money

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 28, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Adding an automatic carry-over feature to employees' flexible spending accounts has taken the pressure off Unity Health Care Inc. employees who contribute to FSAs.

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Small Employers

Published September 28, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Providing a great place to work is a key factor in attracting and retaining the brightest talent prospects, and Business Insurance honored a record 75 insurance industry employers that have created an environment in which people thrive and enjoy their work, making the companies the 2014 Best Places to Work in Insurance.

Best Places to Work in Insurance 2014: Unum Group

By: Louise Esola

Published September 28, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Leading a large company that focuses on bringing the best in employee benefits to the table, it's no surprise to Mike Simonds, president and CEO of Unum US, Unum Group's largest business unit, that the firm was named one of Business Insurance's 2014 Best Places to Work in Insurance. It's the firm's fifth appearance on the annual list in six years.

Hospitals' uncompensated care will drop $5.7 billion this year: HHS

By: Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare

Published September 25, 2014 - 10:03am CST

The Obama administration has a new projection of the benefit hospitals will enjoy this year as they provide less care that no one pays for: $5.7 billion. Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid are getting most of it.

Insurers vying for Obamacare business signal healthy exchange markets

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published September 24, 2014 - 9:06am CST

More insurers will compete for consumers' business on the exchanges during the second year of Obamacare enrollments.

Private health insurance exchanges expected to boom

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 4:00pm CST

Private health insurance exchanges are poised for rapid growth, according to a new analysis.

Voluntary benefits could hold key to health care reform excise tax

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:04pm CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland. — Some U.S. employers are beginning to use voluntary medical benefit plans to minimize the prospects of sharp health care cost increases in the coming years as a result of health care reform.

New health care tax looms for many employers who don't change plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:02pm CST

Without design changes to their health care plans, nearly half of large employers could be liable for a federal excise tax created by the health care reform law when it takes effect in 2018, according to a new analysis by Towers Watson & Co.

American Benefits Council asks Washington for simplified retirement approach

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published September 23, 2014 - 1:44pm CST

Employers need more flexibility and simplicity in providing retirement and other benefits, officials with the American Benefits Council said Tuesday as they unveiled a strategic plan for where employee benefits should be in 2020.

Hydrocodone, oxycodone top opioids dispensed by Pennsylvania doctors

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published September 22, 2014 - 3:08pm CST

Hydrocodone-acetaminophen and oxycodone-acetaminophen are the two most commonly dispensed opioids by physicians in Pennsylvania, according to a Workers Compensation Research Institute study.

Anthem, LA providers creating HMO to compete with Kaiser

By: Melanie Evans, Modern Healthcare

Published September 22, 2014 - 9:16am CST

An unusual joint venture between Anthem Blue Cross and seven competing Los Angeles-area hospital systems to offer employers a low-priced HMO plan underscores the eagerness of insurers and providers to try novel and risky strategies to survive in the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace.

House approves bill defining full-time employees as those working 40 hours

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 3:24pm CST

For the second time this year, the House of Representatives approved legislation to ease the health care reform law's definition of a full-time employee by changing it to those working an average of at least 40 hours per week.

Health exchanges cover 7.3 million people: HHS regulator

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 1:15pm CST

About 7.3 million people were enrolled in federal and state health insurance exchanges as of Aug. 15, 700,000 fewer than the 8 million Americans who signed up for coverage during the first three months following the opening of the exchanges on Jan. 1, a top federal regulator disclosed.

ACA's medical outcomes research fee to increase

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 12:47pm CST

A medical outcomes research fee mandated by the health care reform law and paid by self-funded employers and insurers is going up slightly.

Employers support same-sex marriage for Texas, other southern states

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 18, 2014 - 3:17pm CST

A group of employers has urged a judicial panel in New Orleans to uphold same-sex couples' right to legally marry in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ayurvedic treatment in India not eligible for workers comp in Pennsylvania: Court

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published September 18, 2014 - 3:00pm CST

The Ayurvedic treatment a Pennsylvania nurse received in India is not eligible for workers compensation benefits, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled.

Aon Hewitt said users of private health exchange saw lower costs in 2014

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 18, 2014 - 1:59pm CST

Employers and individuals participating in Aon Hewitt’s private health insurance exchange saw reductions in their health care costs for the 2014 plan year, the benefits consultant said Thursday.

Mid-market consultant Benefits Resource joins Digital Benefits Advisors

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 17, 2014 - 1:58pm CST

Atlanta-based Digital Benefits Advisors on Wednesday said it has added Benefits Resource L.L.C., an Aliso Viejo, California-based consultant, to its nationwide network of employee benefits-only service providers.

Coke, J&J join big companies behind new employee wellness push

Published September 17, 2014 - 10:35am CST

(Reuters) — Leaders of some of the biggest U.S. corporations unveiled a campaign on Tuesday to reduce the nation's health care costs, urging their peers to embrace wellness programs to improve employee health.

Enrollment in high-deductible health plans keeps growing: Report

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 16, 2014 - 3:01pm CST

Enrollment in high-deductible health insurance plans, including consumer-driven health plans, continues to grow, the National Center for Health Statistics said in a report Tuesday.

More than 42 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2013: Census Bureau

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 16, 2014 - 11:47am CST

More than 42 million Americans — 13.4% of the U.S. population — lacked health insurance coverage in 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday in a new survey.

App developers seek clearer U.S. health data privacy guidelines

Published September 16, 2014 - 8:49am CST

(Reuters) — Developers of apps for mobile devices are asking a U.S. agency to clarify its rules for protecting patient health information to reflect the fast-evolving technology.

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