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Ruling could lead Pennsylvania to create health care exchange

By: Jerry Geisel

Published May 04, 2015 - 2:39pm CST

Pennsylvania officials intend to set up a state health insurance exchange if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down IRS rules that authorize federal premium subsidies to lower-income uninsured individuals obtaining coverage in the federal exchange.

Hospital CEOs expect health exchange subsidies to be upheld

By: Michael Sandler, Modern Healthcare

Published May 04, 2015 - 10:42am CST

Health care chiefs overwhelmingly predict the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of the government in the King v. Burwell case, which threatens health insurance subsidies in states that don't run their own exchanges, results of a new survey say.

CMS enacts Medicare secondary payer appeals process

By: Sheena Harrison

Published May 01, 2015 - 11:12am CST

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has enacted a formal appeals process for workers compensation claim payers and others who want to contest reimbursements that must be paid under federal Medicare Secondary Payer rules.

House committee advances military pension reforms

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published May 01, 2015 - 9:22am CST

The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday passed a defense spending bill that includes reforms to the military retirement system that encourage defined contribution savings.

Health benefits leaders bracing for 'Cadillac tax'

By: Shelby Livingston

Published April 30, 2015 - 10:55am CST

CHICAGO — The only way for employers to reduce their exposure to the “Cadillac tax” on high-value health care plans is to implement strategies to cut costs, though it's likely they will still be affected, according to panelists at the Midwest Business Group on Health 35th Annual Conference in Chicago.

Republicans jockey over post-subsidy reform plans

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 30, 2015 - 9:16am CST

WASHINGTON—Facing sharp disagreements among themselves, congressional Republicans are nervously wrestling with how to respond if the U.S. Supreme Court in June strikes down premium subsidies in up to 37 states.

Manufacturer gets final OK to fund benefits in captive

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 29, 2015 - 12:30pm CST

The Labor Department Wednesday gave final authorization to Sealed Air Corp. to fund several benefit risks through its Vermont captive insurance company.

Supreme Court weighs historic same-sex marriage question

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 29, 2015 - 10:21am CST

Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on potential nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage yielded limited insight into how the high court might rule on the issue.

Senate Republicans back health insurance subsidies — for a price

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 27, 2015 - 2:20pm CST

More than half of Senate Republicans are co-sponsoring legislation that would temporarily extend premium subsidies to those obtaining health insurance in the federal exchange if the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies under the health care reform law.

Federal guidance on wellness incentives receives qualified welcome

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 26, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Health benefits experts say there are some holes that need to be filled and clarifications that need to be made in long-awaited federal rules that would govern the use of financial incentives in workplace wellness programs.

Clock's ticking for employers who overpaid ACA reinsurance fee

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 23, 2015 - 1:49pm CST

Employers that realize they overpaid a health reform law-mandated “reinsurance” fee generally have until April 30 to seek a refund from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, regulators have disclosed.

Workers comp drug formulary bill moves in California

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published April 23, 2015 - 1:29pm CST

A California bill that would establish a closed formulary for medications prescribed in the workers compensation system has unanimously passed the Assembly Insurance Committee.

Captive benefit funding requests back on the fast track

By: Jerry Geisel

Published April 21, 2015 - 4:06pm CST

The U.S. Labor Department's final authorization of a health care service firm's application to fund benefit risks through its captive insurance company affirms that the door again is open to employers to seek fast regulatory review of their captive benefit funding proposals.

Health reform law's approval rising slowly

By: Paul Demko, Modern Healthcare

Published April 21, 2015 - 9:32am CST

For the first time in nearly three years, more Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act than disapprove of it, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Alito steps into health reform contraception case

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published April 17, 2015 - 2:16pm CST

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has signed an order temporarily granting relief to a handful of Pennsylvania religious organizations from a lower court's decision that they must notify insurers of their intention not to provide birth control to employees, or face fines under the Affordable Care Act.

BNP Paribas granted money management exemption

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published April 16, 2015 - 8:44am CST

BNP Paribas can continue providing money management services to U.S. retirement plans, despite the parent company's June 2014 guilty plea to violating U.S. sanctions in several countries, said a notice published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor in the Federal Register.

Congress approves bill to increase cover from malpractice lawsuits

By: Judy Greenwald

Published April 15, 2015 - 3:16pm CST

Health care providers would be protected from Medicare's refusal in certain circumstances to pay charges to be used as a cause of action in medical malpractice lawsuits, under legislation that is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama.

Labor Department's proposal for new fiduciary standard moves to comment period

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published April 14, 2015 - 2:58pm CST

The U.S. Department of Labor is moving full steam ahead with a proposed fiduciary standard for anyone giving retirement investment advice after years of retrenching, officials announced Tuesday.

Communication of health plan coverage changes in transition

By: Karen Pallarito

Published April 12, 2015 - 6:00am CST

While employers have gotten an extension on providing revised statements to health plan participants summarizing their benefits and coverage, they have yet to get more clarity on the subject.

Comp reporting plan would increase employer burden

By: Sheena Harrison

Published April 09, 2015 - 8:07am CST

The Social Security Administration's proposal that workers compensation benefits be reported annually to the agency would increase insurers' and employers' paperwork and costs.

Aetna hit with $1 million fine for bad information on pharmacy networks

By: Virgil Dickson, Modern Healthcare

Published April 07, 2015 - 10:49am CST

Aetna Inc. must pay the federal government $1 million because its websites and customer service agents allegedly relayed inaccurate information about which pharmacies were in-network for various Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.

N.J. high court sets date for oral arguments on pension contribution cut

By: Robert Steyer, Pensions & Investments

Published April 07, 2015 - 10:24am CST

The New Jersey Supreme Court set oral arguments for May 6 to hear a challenge by more than a dozen public employee unions against Gov. Chris Christie’s withholding $1.57 billion in contributions from the state’s $77.1 billion pension system for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Illinois deferred compensation plan sets auto re-enrollment

By: Barry B. Burr, Pensions & Investments

Published April 07, 2015 - 10:03am CST

The Illinois State Board of Investment is automatically re-enrolling all 52,000 participants in the $4.1 billion Illinois State Employees' 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, based in Springfield, driving members out of the most popular investment option in the process.

New rules simplify 401(k) auto-enrollment management

By: Matt Dunning

Published April 02, 2015 - 2:50pm CST

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on Thursday issued new guidance designed to make it easier for employers to manage automatic enrollment and contribution increases in 401(k) and other types of retirement savings plans.

Bulgaria plans gradual rise in retirement age, pension payments

Published March 31, 2015 - 9:13am CST

(Reuters) — Bulgaria will gradually raise its retirement age and social payment contributions, the government said on Tuesday, as the European Union's poorest country struggles to fund pensions for a shrinking and aging population.

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