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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.

Senators want rules on corporate pension de-risking

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 1:36pm CST

The chairmen of two Senate committees are asking the heads of several federal agencies to develop guidance on one of the hottest defined benefit pension plan trends: employer moves to “de-risk” the plans.

Humana looks to sell urgent care subsidiary Concentra: Sources

Published October 22, 2014 - 1:56pm CST

(Reuters) — Health insurer Humana Inc. is exploring a sale of its urgent care subsidiary Concentra in a deal that could value it at around $1 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.

McConnell's claims on Kentucky exchange, Obamacare baffle experts

By: Darius Tahir, Modern Healthcare

Published October 21, 2014 - 9:59am CST

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made a habit of saying that repealing the ACA would not necessarily mean shutting down Kentucky's popular insurance exchange.

Late-term medical costs lower for older workers comp claimants: NCCI

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 20, 2014 - 12:05pm CST

Workers compensation claimants younger than 60 have higher medical claim costs for medical payments made 20 and 30 years after their initial injury compared with claimants who are age 60 or older..

Employers taking action to avoid ACA excise tax

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 16, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Forty percent of employers say they expect at least one of their health care plans to be affected by a health care reform law-authorized excise tax — unless they act — with many already taking steps to reduce the likelihood that they will be hit by the tax.

U.S. Supreme Court justices divided over Teva patent battle

Published October 15, 2014 - 11:43am CST

(Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared closely divided as it weighed Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s high-profile fight with generic drug manufacturers over patent protections for Copaxone, its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug.

Workers' compensation rates drop again in Michigan

By: Chris Gautz, Crain's Detroit Business

Published October 15, 2014 - 10:22am CST

Businesses in Michigan are continuing to see savings in their workers compensation rates and have saved more than $277 million since 2011, a fact the state now touts to companies interested in coming to Michigan.

IN FOCUS Video: Health Exchange Plans vs. COBRA

Published October 14, 2014 - 4:24pm CST

In our latest weekly video, we examine how the Affordable Care Act is affecting the health care coverage options available to individuals who lose their job-based health insurance.

About 250 firms plan to offer health benefits next year via Mercer's health exchange

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 13, 2014 - 4:00pm CST

Nearly 250 employers will offer health care benefits to current and retired employees through Mercer L.L.C.'s “Marketplace” private health insurance exchange in 2015.

Hub names president for national employee benefits practice

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 13, 2014 - 2:12pm CST

Mike Barone has been named president of Hub International Ltd.’s national employee benefits practice, a newly created position charged with directing and enhancing Hub’s investments in employee benefits products and solutions for middle-market employers, the company reported.

Self-insured group coverage comes under attack

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

PHOENIX — The Self-Insurance Institute of America Inc. is mobilizing for battle as self-insured group health insurance comes under attack from lawmakers at the state and federal levels.

Quad/Graphics drops direct health care contracting, switches to Anthem network

By: Karen Pallarito

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Quad/Graphics Inc., a longtime national leader in direct health care contracting, is canceling its roughly 400 medical provider contracts in Wisconsin and shifting to Anthem Inc.'s national network effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Steinhafels builds private network using direct contracting benefits model

By: Karen Pallarito

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

While Quad/Graphics Inc. is pulling the plug on its direct health care contracting efforts, family-owned furniture and mattress retailer Steinhafels Inc. is building its private medical network.

Texas comp claim costs close gap between in-, out-of-network care

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 10, 2014 - 12:48pm CST

Medical costs for injured workers treated by Texas workers compensation health care networks have declined 7% over the last five years while costs for workers treated by non-network providers have increased 21% in that time, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

BROKER BEAT Video: Oswald Cos.

Published October 09, 2014 - 6:57pm CST

Business Insurance Assistant Managing Editor Aranya Tomseth speaks with Robert J. Klonk, CEO of Oswald Cos., about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting its employee benefits practice and private exchange.

Health insurance premiums for federal employees to rise 3.2% in 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 09, 2014 - 12:39pm CST

Health insurance premiums for the program that covers federal employees and retirees will increase an average of 3.2% next year, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Wal-Mart raises health care costs, cuts benefits for some part-timers

Published October 08, 2014 - 9:29am CST

(Reuters) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Tuesday that its 1.3 million workers would have to pay more for health care and it would end benefits for some part-time staff in a move that could prompt other companies to follow suit.

Aon Hewitt's private health exchanges poised to grow in 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 08, 2014 - 8:06am CST

The number of employers participating in two Aon Hewitt private health insurance exchanges will jump next year.

Self-insurance institute takes fight over Michigan tax to Supreme Court

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 07, 2014 - 4:27pm CST

PHOENIX — The Self-Insurance Institute will ask the Supreme Court to review a court decision that found a Michigan law imposing a 1% tax on paid health care claims is not pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Employers remain committed to providing health care in 2015: Survey

By: Matt Dunning

Published October 07, 2014 - 2:03pm CST

Most employers will not reduce the number of health care plans or the scope of coverage they offer to their employees in 2015, according to a survey by benefits consultant Benz Communications Inc.

Wal-Mart to stop health care benefits for some part-time workers

Published October 07, 2014 - 10:50am CST

(Reuters) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would no longer provide health benefits to some part-time workers in the United States due to ballooning health care costs.

Reference-based health care reimbursements require careful application

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 07, 2014 - 10:41am CST

PHOENIX — Reference-based pricing could trigger balance-billing by providers if employers do not implement this cost-containment tool carefully, experts warn.

Massachusetts decreases surcharge on health care services

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 07, 2014 - 10:30am CST

Massachusetts regulators have slightly decreased the surcharge on services received at hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers in the state.

NCCI proposes 3.3% Florida comp rate decrease based on fee changes

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 06, 2014 - 1:27pm CST

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has asked Florida regulators to consider a 3.3% decrease in state workers compensation rates for 2015 after it originally proposed a 2.5% rate cut in August.

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