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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 HHS 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.

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.

IN FOCUS Video: Brokerage Industry Trends

Published July 22, 2014 - 12:24pm CST

In our latest video report, we speak with several insurance industry leaders to find out some of the latest trends and hot topics occurring in the commercial brokerage industry.

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.

Supreme Court ruling will test range of health reform's contraceptive mandate

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published July 20, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The U.S. Supreme Court's pivotal ruling last month that the federal government cannot force family-owned, private employers to directly provide contraceptive coverage could have wider reaching implications for private companies and benefits administrators.

TPAs are stuck with the bill in health reform contraception coverage dispute

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published July 20, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Even before rulings in Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Wheaton College court cases, third-party administrators were paying millions of dollars for contraceptive services on behalf of their religious organization clients that automatically qualified for an exception to this coverage mandate.

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.

Amending Illinois Constitution a tough path for pension reform

By: Paul Merrion, Crain's Chicago Business

Published July 18, 2014 - 10:12am CST

If Illinois' new pension law is found unconstitutional, which looks more likely in light of a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision, one obvious remedy is to amend the constitution.

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.

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.

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.

IN FOCUS Video: Property/Casualty Insurance Lobbyists

Published July 08, 2014 - 3:56pm CST

In our latest video report, we speak with several top lobbyists for the property/casualty insurance industry and find out what key issues are currently their top priorities on Capitol Hill.

PBGC puts reportable changes program on hold

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published July 08, 2014 - 3:37pm CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. declared a six-month moratorium Tuesday on a program that required employers to guarantee more pension assets in the event of major operational changes.

Supreme Court issues rare injunction in contraception case

By: Joe Carlson, Modern Healthcare

Published July 07, 2014 - 10:10am CST

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday granted a Chicago-area private college a rare emergency injunction in an ongoing contraception-mandate case, drawing a stern rebuke from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Supreme Court ruling allows religious beliefs to trump birth control mandate

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 06, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court says the federal government cannot force closely-held private employers to directly provide prescription contraceptive coverage, it remains to be seen if the Obama administration will propose new regulations to close this coverage gap.

California workers comp law has doctors resolving many more medical disputes

By: Sheena Harrison

Published July 06, 2014 - 6:00am CST

California's workers compensation reforms have produced an unexpected surge in independent medical reviews, but experts and employers say more time is needed to see whether the changes reduce costs and claims management delays.

Federal agencies issue guidance clarifying numerous health care reform rules

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 06, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Employers can impose a one-month orientation period before a 90-day waiting period starts to either offer qualifying employees group health insurance or face a penalty, according to the latest federal guidance on complying with the health care reform law.

Court ruling on health care reform law premium subsidies expected soon

By: Jerry Geisel

Published July 06, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is expected to issue a decision soon on a lawsuit alleging, contrary to an IRS rule, that health care reform law premium subsidies can be used by eligible individuals to buy coverage only in state exchanges—not those set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in states that declined to set up exchanges.

Treasury allows longevity annuities in retirement plans

By: Darla Mercado, Investment News

Published July 01, 2014 - 12:33pm CST

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday announced a final rule that will facilitate retirement plan participants' access to deferred-income annuities.

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