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Landmark ERISA pension reform law sees mixed results 40 years after implementation

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Forty years after President Gerald Ford signed the first comprehensive pension reform bill into law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act has produced successes and failures.

Employers want unbiased advice on private health care exchanges

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As private health insurance exchanges evolve, some benefits consultants are trying to distinguish themselves as unbiased advisers in a marketplace dominated by companies offering advisory services alongside their own branded exchange products.

Brokers with private health exchanges strive to maintain unbiased stance

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Several brokers have positioned themselves as objective consultants within the private health insurance exchange marketplace, despite having their own exchanges.

Affordable Care Act pushes health insurer revenues higher

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The influx of new customers buying health insurance through public exchanges drove moderate revenue and enrollment growth for the nation's largest health insurers during the first half of the year, but it also dampened their collective profit.

Largest health insurers plan to increase public exchange participation

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Midway through the year, four of the five largest U.S. health insurers have signaled plans to increase their participation in public health insurance exchanges despite early profit declines and pricing uncertainty.

Direct contracts with medical providers help self-insured employers control costs

By: Karen Pallarito

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A growing number of self-insured employers are bypassing health plan administrators and contracting directly with pro-viders in efforts to limit the in-creases in their health care costs.

Denver suburb provides its own primary care clinics to cut health costs

By: Karen Pallarito

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

What's the antidote for escalating health benefits costs? The City of Arvada, Colorado, is betting on a whopping dose of primary care medicine.

Ex-Little Caesar manager sues over denial of same-sex spousal benefits

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 29, 2014 - 3:27pm CST

A former Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. employee has sued the company for denying spousal health insurance to married same-sex couples in California.

IRS issues draft copies of health care coverage reporting forms

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 29, 2014 - 2:54pm CST

The Internal Revenue Service has issued draft copies of the health care coverage forms employers will have to provide to full-time employees and to the IRS starting in 2016.

Flexible spending account cap expected to rise in 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 29, 2014 - 2:49pm CST

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts is expected to rise in 2015 by $50 to $2,550, according to Buck Consultants at Xerox calculations.

Senior execs increasingly more hands-on in medical stop-loss decisions: Study

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 29, 2014 - 2:13pm CST

As high-cost medical claims continue to rise among employers that self-insure their group health benefits, the number of senior executives, financial officers and risk managers involving themselves in their company’s decisions regarding stop-loss insurance is also increasing.

Washington health exchange plans double; average rates rise 1.9%

By: Rachel Landen, Modern Healthcare

Published August 28, 2014 - 2:35pm CST

Consumers in Washington state will have more choices in health plans next year and at rates lower than initially proposed, according to information made public by the state's Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Cincinnati to cover employee gender reassignment surgery

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 28, 2014 - 1:20pm CST

Cincinnati will offer coverage for medically necessary transgender procedures under its employee health care plans beginning in 2015, according to city officials.

Vermont residents spend less on health care, but clouds are looming

By: Melanie Evans, Modern Healthcare

Published August 27, 2014 - 8:49am CST

With Vermont's ambitions for universal health care by 2017, reports say privately insured patients spent less time hospitalized and used more generic drugs than the average U.S. patient, in lieu of health reform.

HealthCare.gov to be run by Connecticut exchange leader

By: Darius Tahir, Modern Healthcare

Published August 26, 2014 - 3:57pm CST

The leader of one of the most successful state-based insurance exchanges will head to Washington to become CEO of the federal marketplace. The CMS named Connecticut's Kevin Counihan to the newly created post on Tuesday.

Retrofit bulks up corporate weight-loss effort with BSwift

By: John Pletz, Crain's Chicago Businsess

Published August 26, 2014 - 3:07pm CST

Chicago's Retrofit Inc., a tech-enabled weight-loss startup backed by J.B. Pritzker, Larry Levy and Jai Shekhawat, is teaming with BSwift, a Chicago-based health insurance services company.

Judge strikes down Florida ban on same-sex marriage

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 22, 2014 - 12:13pm CST

A federal judge has struck down Florida's ban on same-sex marriage.

FBI warns health care companies they are targeted by hackers

Published August 20, 2014 - 2:33pm CST

(Reuters) — The FBI has warned that health care industry companies are being targeted by hackers, publicizing the issue following an attack on a U.S. hospital group.

EEOC says energy company's wellness program violated ADA

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 20, 2014 - 2:32pm CST

The U.S. EEOC has filed suit against an energy company for allegedly violating the ADA, charging that it shifted responsibility for paying health care premiums to an employee.

Employers expect modest health plan cost increases in 2015: Survey

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 20, 2014 - 1:49pm CST

Employers are expecting only modest increases in 2015 in their group health care plan costs, but are looking at new approaches to continue to keep costs under control, according to a survey released Wednesday.

West Palm Beach, Fla., contractors must offer domestic partner benefits

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 19, 2014 - 3:02pm CST

City commissioners in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance requiring private companies that contract with the city to provide equal benefits for domestic partners.

Final vote phases out Massachusetts' state health insurance mandate

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 18, 2014 - 2:34pm CST

A Massachusetts health reform law board unanimously voted to repeal for a final time rules relating to a landmark state statute that required employers to either offer health care coverage to their employees or pay a fine.

Benefits administration vendors retool to help firms comply with reporting rules

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Providers of benefits administration outsourcing services are scrambling to help employers comply with upcoming tax reporting requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but few can transmit that information directly to the IRS.

ALCO Stores finds provider to help with automated health benefits enrollment

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

ALCO Stores Inc. changed benefit administration outsourcing providers this year to help it meet Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements that the chain of more than 200 stores provide automated enrollment to employees and extend benefits to those working 30 or more hours per week.

Wellness programs have value beyond medical cost savings: DMEC speaker

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 14, 2014 - 10:14am CST

LAS VEGAS — The business value of having a wellness program and a healthy workforce goes beyond the potential to reduce medical costs.

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