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Supreme Court could give definitive ruling on states' rights to ban gay marriage

By: Matt Dunning

Published December 21, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A definitive ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on states' rights to ban gay marriage could come as early as June 2015, experts say, bringing welcome relief for employers and their benefits management staffs.

Health care reform developments dominate benefits management issues in 2014

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 21, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Topped by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review whether individuals can obtain premium subsidies to buy health insurance in federal exchanges, developments related to the health care reform law dominated 2014.

2015 benefits management outlook shaped by courts and congressional changes

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 21, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The U.S. Supreme Court and Congress will play key roles in the future of the health care reform law.

SIIA petitions Supreme Court to review Michigan health claims tax

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 19, 2014 - 11:37am CST

The Self-Insurance Institute of America Inc. has formally petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review and overturn an appeals court decision upholding a Michigan law that imposes a 1% tax on paid health care claims.

Vermont governor dumps statewide universal health care law effort

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 18, 2014 - 10:08am CST

Vermont is abandoning efforts to move to a publicly financed health care system to ensure universal coverage, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday.

More than 700,000 enroll through state insurance exchanges in first month

By: Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare

Published December 18, 2014 - 8:54am CST

Nearly 740,000 people have selected or re-enrolled into a qualified health plan across 13 state based-exchanges, according to state-released estimates.

Nearly 2.5 million enrolled in federal health plan exchange for 2015 to date

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 16, 2014 - 3:05pm CST

Nearly 2.5 million individuals signed up for health insurance plans through the federal exchange during the first four weeks of the 2015 open enrollment, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported Tuesday.

Sen. Orrin Hatch calls for retirement savings legislation

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published December 16, 2014 - 9:53am CST

Tax incentives for retirement plan sponsors and participants are “under increasing pressure” on Capitol Hill to be reduced, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington on Monday.

Congress gives final OK to bill allowing multiemployer pension plan benefit cuts

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 15, 2014 - 9:20am CST

Trustees of financially distressed multiemployer pension plans would be allowed to cut participants' benefits to prevent the plans from becoming insolvent under legislation given final congressional approval Saturday.

Sign-ups near 1.4 million in federal health insurance exchange

By: Jerry Geisel

Published December 10, 2014 - 2:25pm CST

Nearly 1.4 million individuals signed up for health insurance plans through the federal exchange during the first three weeks of enrollment, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported Wednesday.

Proposed spending bill lets some multiemployer plans cut retiree benefits

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published December 10, 2014 - 11:56am CST

Based on a proposal from the Partnership for Multiemployer Retirement Security, a business and labor group, the legislative amendment expected to be approved Wednesday would allow the most distressed multiemployer plans to cut retiree benefits to prevent plans from becoming insolvent and winding up at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It also increases PBGC premiums to $26 from $13 per...

Gruber, Tavenner apologize for Obamacare miscues

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published December 09, 2014 - 4:19pm CST

“Inexcusable” was the word of the day on Capitol Hill. Both MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner invoked it to describe their actions during a more than four-hour hearing Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Multiemployer plan fiduciaries must repay $4.7M in phony union expenses

By: Matt Dunning

Published December 08, 2014 - 3:45pm CST

Fiduciaries of a defunct national multiemployer benefit plan based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, are liable for $4.7 million assets improperly diverted to a phony union, a federal judge has ruled.

Atlanta pension fund participants appeal lawsuit dismissal to state high court

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published December 04, 2014 - 9:00am CST

A group of participants in the three Atlanta pension funds appealed the dismissal by Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court of its lawsuit challenging higher employee contributions for pension fund participants.

Few states move to establish health exchanges despite subsidies' legal peril

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published December 03, 2014 - 8:40am CST

The Democrat-controlled Illinois Legislature appears poised to approve legislation this week establishing a state-based insurance exchange.

Rhode Island pension reform lawsuit set to go to jury trial April 20

By: James Comtois, Pensions & Investments

Published December 03, 2014 - 8:24am CST

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter on Tuesday granted a request by the state's lawyers for a jury trial in the lawsuit challenging Rhode Island's 2011 pension overhaul and set a trial start date of April 20.

Top U.S. Senate Republican sees possible major health care legislation

Published December 03, 2014 - 8:15am CST

(Reuters) — The senior U.S. Senate Republican on Tuesday raised the possibility of Congress writing comprehensive health care legislation if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a subsidy provision of Obamacare next year.

U.S. CEOs threaten to pull tacit Obamacare support over 'wellness' spat

Published December 01, 2014 - 10:47am CST

(Reuters) — Leading U.S. CEOs, angered by the Obama administration's challenge to certain "workplace wellness" programs, are threatening to side with anti-Obamacare forces unless the government backs off.

HHS reports solid start to federal health exchange open enrollment

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published December 01, 2014 - 8:57am CST

Nearly half a million individuals signed up for health plans through the federal exchange during the first week of the open-enrollment period, HHS announced Wednesday.

New Jersey pension system funding plummets under new rule

Published November 26, 2014 - 8:41am CST

(Reuters) — New Jersey's retirement system for public employees is in worse shape than previously reported, thanks to recent accounting changes that are starting to be rolled out across the country.

PBGC to finalize rollover rule

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published November 24, 2014 - 3:15pm CST

Participants in defined contribution plans can combine those assets with their defined benefit plans without exceeding federal guarantee limits set by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. under a rule to be finalized Tuesday.

HHS warns employers about skimpy health plans

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 24, 2014 - 2:03pm CST

The HHS is warning employers that group health care plans that do not provide coverage for inpatient hospital and physician services will not pass the health reform law's “minimum value” test, the second federal agency to do so.

Supreme Court reviewing pivotal health insurance exchange premium subsidy case

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 23, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The ability of employers to slash their early retiree health care costs will depend on the outcome of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether federal premium subsidies authorized by the health care reform law can be used by retirees to purchase coverage in federal health insurance exchanges.

California health insurance exchange’s open enrollment off to big start

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 21, 2014 - 3:14pm CST

California, the biggest public health insurance exchange, says enrollment for 2015 is far eclipsing the enrollment rate during the comparable period last year.

Judge rules Illinois pension reform law is unconstitutional

By: Meaghan Kilroy, Pensions & Investments

Published November 21, 2014 - 2:47pm CST

A Sangamon County, Illinois, Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that Illinois’ pension reform law passed last year is unconstitutional.

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