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Aon Hewitt unveils new health plan design for retirees

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 30, 2014 - 3:31pm CST

A new retiree health care benefits design unveiled Thursday by Aon Hewitt and linked to its private health insurance exchange will give Medicare-eligible retirees greater financial incentives to select more cost-effective plans, the benefit consultant said.

Maximum 2015 FSA contribution allowed increased to $2,550

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 30, 2014 - 1:41pm CST

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts will rise in 2015 by $50 to $2,550, while the maximum pretax contribution employees can make to cover mass transit expenses will be unchanged.

Federal judge blocks new HHS workaround for birth-control coverage

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published October 30, 2014 - 9:44am CST

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday jumped into the latest round in the legal wrangling over a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision involving birth-control coverage and how it applies to religious institutions.

Will the Supreme Court accept the Obamacare subsidy challenge Friday?

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published October 30, 2014 - 9:24am CST

The U.S. Supreme Court justices are scheduled on Friday to discuss whether to accept a case with the potential to severely disrupt health coverage for millions of Americans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. If they take the case, it could introduce an unexpected issue into next Tuesday's elections over the future viability of the healthcare reform law.

Look beyond patients' medical needs: 'Magic' Johnson

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 29, 2014 - 4:34pm CST

Former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson said health care professionals can help patients just by showing an interest in their lives.

Employers diverge on handling workers compensation claims

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 29, 2014 - 2:14pm CST

Self-administration of workers compensation claims can be a favorable option for health care organizations to track how their workers are being treated.

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.

Arkansas appeals court says man failed to prove work accident caused injury

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 29, 2014 - 1:14pm CST

A “morbidly obese” worker in Arkansas failed to prove that his umbilical hernia resulted from a work-related injury and not pre-existing conditions, the Arkansas Court of Appeals has ruled.

WellPoint beats Wall Street expectations as customers grow

Published October 29, 2014 - 9:44am CST

(Reuters) — WellPoint Inc on Wednesday reported third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as the company’s customers increased in its Medicaid business and in new subsidized individual health plans under the national healthcare reform law.

Training, simplified processes trim hospital lab errors

By: Judy Greenwald

Published October 28, 2014 - 9:30pm CST

Training hospital staff to have patients state their name and birth date before a specimen is taken and refusing to accept specimens before they are properly labeled are effective ways to reduce diagnostic errors, an expert said.

ASHRM 2014 Annual Meeting

Published October 28, 2014 - 5:16pm CST

Follow Business Insurance's daily coverage of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management's Annual Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim, California.

Engage families to improve patients' care: Panelists

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 28, 2014 - 4:56pm CST

Health care organizations should engage the families of patients to improve medical outcomes and experiences while reducing potential medical provider liabilities, a group of medical experts said Tuesday.

HCA to acquire urgent-care provider, sets share buyback

Published October 28, 2014 - 9:50am CST

(Reuters) — HCA Holdings Inc., the largest U.S. hospital operator, on Tuesday announced a deal to acquire a Dallas-based provider of urgent-care services and said its board authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of its outstanding shares.

Aetna says third-quarter profit rose despite higher health costs

Published October 28, 2014 - 9:40am CST

(Reuters) — Aetna Inc., the third-largest U.S. health insurer, said on Tuesday that third-quarter profit rose as the benefits of its Coventry government healthcare acquisition offset higher medical costs in its commercial business.

San Francisco health care spending requirement adjusted for managers

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 27, 2014 - 2:53pm CST

Managerial, supervisory or confidential employees who earn at least $90,745 in 2015 are exempt from a San Francisco law that requires employers to spend a certain amount of money on their employees’ health insurance.

Guy Carpenter practice to focus on health care providers and insurers

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 27, 2014 - 11:26am CST

Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C. is launching a U.S. Healthcare & Life Specialty Practice that will focus on the needs of health care providers and insurers, the New York-based reinsurance brokerage said Monday.

Preparation, practice essential to control Ebola

By: Judy Greenwald

Published October 27, 2014 - 10:15am CST

“Get a flu shot,” the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association advised health care risk managers on how to deal with the Ebola threat. “That's not a request; that's a homework assignment.”

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.

Low-cost health plans pass online minimum value coverage test

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

What may be a flaw in the federal government's online calculator to determine if employer-provided health insurance coverage meets the health care reform law's “minimum value” test is allowing employers to offer low-cost basic plans without triggering a big reform law penalty.

Consolidating global coverage smooths firm’s accounting

By: Karen Pallarito

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

When Downers Grove, Illinois-based Dover Corp. examined its global assignment program in 2011, it uncovered an inconsistency.

Assess expatriate workers' assignments before picking health plan

By: Karen Pallarito

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Crafting a health benefits plan to cover employees who work internationally never has been more challenging. Today’s global workforce is more diversified, including senior executives, mid-career employees and young professionals. Work assignments often vary in length and scope, with traditional expatriates being just part of the equation.

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.

Value-based insurance designs evolve to encompass wider range of health services

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Employer use of value-based insurance design initiatives is changing to move beyond drug-related programs to include a wider range of health care services.

Digital devices boost wellness programs

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Online diet and fitness tracking devices and mobile applications are becoming increasingly prevalent in employers’ workplace wellness programs, as a growing volume of surveys and case studies link personalization and portability with greater employee engagement in managing their health.

Women pay more than men for health care benefits: Mercer

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 24, 2014 - 3:40pm CST

Women pay more for health benefits and receive less coverage, according to researchers at Mercer L.L.C.

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