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  • 45 states receive failing health care price transparency grade: study

    March 26, 2014

    A new report card tracking health care price transparency finds that 45 states failed to offer essential information to consumers shopping in the U.S. health system, a significant step back since easier-to-understand public health solutions were to have become the norm in this post-Affordable Care Act world.


  • ACA triggers voluntary benefit sales boom

    March 25, 2014

    Voluntary benefit sales are enjoying rapid growth as employers prepare for the impact of the Affordable Care Act by revamping their medical plan designs to include more products such as accident and critical illness benefits.


  • Supreme Court hears Hobby Lobby ACA challenge

    March 25, 2014

    A divided U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday debated whether companies can assert religious rights, hearing arguments in an ideological clash over the Affordable Care Act and rules that promote contraceptive coverage.


  • Towers Watson’s group annuity cuts retiree medical cost risks

    March 24, 2014

    Through a new group annuity program, Towers Watson may have found a solution to retiree medical costs – a burgeoning problem for employers. The option eliminates the financial risk from the table and limits the administrative burdens linked to the benefit.


  • Private health exchange interest fueled by finance, not HR

    March 21, 2014

    Employers across the country may be expecting to offset higher health care costs through private health exchanges and boosting wellness offerings. However, HR leaders interviewed in a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report say that the push to private exchanges is being fueled by C-suite executives and not benefits professionals.


  • Half of Americans oppose the ACA

    March 21, 2014

    Nearly four years after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act more than half (53%) of Americans disapprove of the law — but most of those opponents now say they want politicians to make the law work, according to a new Pew Research Center study.


  • Know your plan — or the courts will

    March 20, 2014

    Investment committee, benefit committee, annual meetings … Do your clients know what their plan documents promise? Here’s why they should.


  • Even the underinsured give high marks to U.S. health care

    March 17, 2014

    Despite one-third of respondents not having health insurance, a new Gallup poll finds that approximately 66% of Americans are satisfied with the current health system as more expected changes from the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandate continue their rollout.


  • SHOP marketplace offers choice to small businesses

    March 14, 2014

    New research from the Commonwealth Fund suggests that small business owners should consider the Small Business Health Options Program as a means to navigate the choppy waters in this post-Affordable Care Act world through competitive choice.


  • LeBron James helps out Healthcare.gov in new spot

    March 14, 2014

    As open enrollment for marketplaces on Healthcare.gov will conclude at the end of the month, federal health officials have nabbed NBA star LeBron James to shoot up a buzzer beater that will garner more attention from Americans in need of affordable health insurance.


  • New HHS rule could exempt your client from ACA reinsurance fee

    March 13, 2014

    Under the Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule issued March 5 on the reinsurance fee imposed under the Affordable Care Act, some employers may be exempt in 2015 or 2016. Is your client exempt?


  • Feds release employee compensation breakdown

    March 13, 2014

    Private industry employers spent, on average, $29.63 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. Wages and salaries averaged $20.76 per hour worked and accounted for 70.1% of that cost, while benefits averaged $8.87 and accounted for the remaining 29.9%.


  • Employers consider wellness to offset Cadillac Tax: survey

    March 12, 2014

    More and more employers are looking to wellness programs to help relieve the expected burden of the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax on their high-cost plans. While 35% have already taken action to add or improve these supplemental programs, approximately 47% say they are considering this option, according to a new employer survey from Mercer.


  • Employers raise deductibles to reduce costs

    March 12, 2014

    Four of five U.S. companies have raised deductibles or are considering doing so as health costs increase, according to a Mercer survey of more than 700 employers.


  • Plan member satisfaction with health plans down

    March 11, 2014

    While health insurance companies are introducing themselves to customers in new markets through new channels, 41% of existing health plan members feel they do not have enough coverage for routine visits, serious illness or injury, health and wellness programs, routine diagnostics and drug coverage, says new research from J.D. Power.


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