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Health insurers to pay $330M in premium rebates

Published July 24, 2014 - 12:26pm CST

(Reuters) — U.S. health insurers will send out about $330 million in rebates to employers and individuals this summer under President Barack Obama's health care reform law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday.

10.3 million gained insurance under Obamacare: Study

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published July 24, 2014 - 11:16am CST

About 10.3 million Americans have gained insurance coverage since the full implementation of Obamacare last year, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Federal exchange premium subsidies still available while lawsuits proceed

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 23, 2014 - 2:32pm CST

The Obama administration has said it will continue providing premium subsidies for health care plans purchased through federally run public exchanges, pending a final resolution of two lawsuits seeking to limit their availability.

All Risks offers specialty workers comp class for home healthcare risks

By: Kate Shepherd

Published July 23, 2014 - 1:23pm CST

All Risks Ltd.’s workers compensation specialty division has announced a specialty class workers compensation for home healthcare risks.

4th Circuit upholds premium subsidies for state and federal health exchanges

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 22, 2014 - 3:08pm CST

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously upheld the federal government's right to issue premium subsidies for health insurance purchased in both state- and U.S.-operated public exchanges.

D.C. appeals court strikes down ACA insurance subsidies for federal exchanges

By: Joe Carlson, Modern Healthcare

Published July 22, 2014 - 10:06am CST

A federal appeals court has ruled the Obama administration cannot subsidize insurance premiums for nearly 7 million Americans, dealing a serious blow to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Alabama health system, doctors group settle whistleblower kickback case for $24.5M

By: Judy Greenwald

Published July 21, 2014 - 3:54pm CST

An Alabama health system and a physicians group have reached a $24.5 million settlement of a whistleblower lawsuit, in which they were charged with violating the False Claims Act by paying or receiving kickbacks in connection with claims to the Medicare program, the Department of Justice said Monday.

Benefit costs, regulations remain top HR concerns: Gallagher survey

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 21, 2014 - 2:21pm CST

Rising health care costs and evolving regulations continue to be the top human resources challenge facing employers, and many companies are struggling to effectively meet that challenge, according to a new survey.

Many employers keep or expand benefits to domestic partners to retain talent

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 20, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As marriage equality gains momentum in courts and legislatures nationwide, it remains to be seen how the changes will affect employers' long-term benefit strategies for same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.

Ohio Transit Authority extends benefits to promote inclusiveness

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 20, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Achieving greater inclusiveness and competing for talent were among the primary motivations for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority's recent extension of health and dental benefits to same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners.

U.S. appeals court rules for same-sex marriage in Oklahoma

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 18, 2014 - 1:00pm CST

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has ruled in favor of same-sex couples seeking the right to legally marry in the state of Oklahoma.

Reform bill shows progress keeping check on Calif. comp rates: Report

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published July 18, 2014 - 11:57am CST

Workers compensation rate increases would have been 3% higher for California employers in 2013 if reforms had not been enacted, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Industrial Relations and its Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Firms that cut birth-control coverage must notify workers: White House

By: Joe Carlson, Modern Healthcare

Published July 18, 2014 - 9:51am CST

If closely held companies want to nix their employees' insurance coverage of contraceptives, they can't do so in secret.

UnitedHealth revenue beats estimates as membership jumps

Published July 17, 2014 - 9:30am CST

(Reuters) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported higher-than-expected revenue and raised its forecast, helped by the addition of 270,000 healthcare members and strong growth in its Optum pharmacy services division.

Rail authority to resume talks with Long Island Rail Road workers over benefits

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 16, 2014 - 3:38pm CST

Hoping to avert a labor strike scheduled to begin this weekend, mass transit officials and union representatives in New York City agreed Wednesday to resume negotiations in an ongoing dispute over employee health insurance and pension contributions.

BROKER BEAT: Bankers Insurance L.L.C.

Published July 15, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Business Insurance Senior Editor Rodd Zolkos speaks with Mike Hedden, senior vice president and director of operations for Bankers Insurance L.L.C., about issues currently affecting the bank-owned agency and brokerage firm.

EEOC guidance updates pregnancy-related workplace rights

By: Judy Greenwald

Published July 14, 2014 - 2:44pm CST

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday issued its first enforcement guidance regarding pregnancy discrimination since 1983.

House Speaker Boehner unveils plan to sue Obama over delay of ACA employer mandate

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 11, 2014 - 10:15am CST

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, has released a draft resolution to authorize the House of Representatives to sue President Barack Obama for regulatory action that delayed a health care reform law provision.

Utah will ask Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage ban

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 10, 2014 - 3:32pm CST

State officials in Utah will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to state-level marriage rights and benefits.

Majority of account holders spend down health savings accounts: Survey

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 10, 2014 - 2:07pm CST

A majority of health savings account holders spend most of their account balances to pay for health care expenses, resulting in relatively small year-end balances, according to a new survey.

San Francisco law to restrict HRAs to satisfy city health spending law

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 10, 2014 - 12:47pm CST

A new San Francisco law will eliminate the appeal for employers to use health reimbursement arrangements — one of the ways employers have used to satisfy the city's health care spending law — starting next year.

Senate Democrats seek to overturn Supreme Court's contraceptive ruling

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 09, 2014 - 1:20pm CST

Legislation introduced by a group of Senate Democrats would overturn last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision saying that the government cannot force closely held private employers to offer and pay for prescription contraceptive coverage.

U.S. judge blocks Massachusetts ban on opioid painkiller Zohydro ER

By: Sheena Harrison

Published July 09, 2014 - 12:29pm CST

A federal judge has blocked a Massachusetts regulation meant to restrict sales of Zohydro ER, a powerful opioid painkiller, after Gov. Deval Patrick sought to ban the drug's availability in the state.

Enrollment in health savings accounts linked to HDHPs up 12% in 2014: Survey

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 09, 2014 - 12:01pm CST

Fueled by growth in the large-employer market, overall enrollment in health savings accounts linked to high-deductible health plans increased almost 12% to nearly 17.4 million this year.

Self-insurance group asks regulators to rethink TPAs' contraceptive services role

By: Matt Dunning

Published July 08, 2014 - 4:10pm CST

The Self-Insurance Institute of America Inc. is urging federal regulators to revisit an accommodation for religious nonprofit organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for employees as mandated under the health care reform law.

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