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  • 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.


  • Fewer Americans obtain primary health coverage through employers: poll

    March 10, 2014

    The percentage of Americans who currently obtain health insurance coverage through their employers continues to drop, indicating an ongoing trend among benefit plan sponsors and HR decision-makers to shift costs to public and private exchanges.


  • Exchanges are not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution

    March 7, 2014

    The private and public exchanges offer employers an opportunity to help manage costs and provide personalized benefits, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution, industry experts say.


  • Cheaper surgery sends Lowe's flying to Cleveland Clinic

    March 7, 2014

    By bundling all costs for the surgery under one negotiated price and offering expertise that lowers the odds of complications, the Cleveland Clinic can give employers a better deal than some hospitals closer to employees' homes.


  • CMS expects last-minute enrollment bump in exchanges

    March 6, 2014

    Looking toward the end of 2014 open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges, Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said Thursday at an AHIP conference that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expecting a “fairly significant spike in enrollments."


  • Employers expected to act on increase in health care costs: survey

    March 6, 2014

    Despite a reported 4.4% increase in employer health care costs in 2014, the majority of large U.S. employers say they are more inclined to maintain benefits to active employees, but will modify plans and continue to shift over costs to their employees.


  • Insurers need to change selling techniques on private exchanges: study

    March 6, 2014

    A new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers finds consumers are a lot less focused on the price of their plan than insurance executives believe them to be.


  • Health care cost transparency — are we making progress?

    March 5, 2014

    Commentary: The Catalyst for Payment Reform scored each state on its level of health care cost transparency — 29 received an F, only two scored an A. Transparency of health care cost and quality must be the founding principle of sustainable change, says Borislow Insurance’s Mark Gaunya.


  • Obama’s 2015 budget proposes crackdown on misclassified workers

    March 5, 2014

    President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal includes nearly $14 million for the Department of Labor to combat the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, which renders them ineligible for certain benefits and protections under the law.


  • ACA progression to spark employers’ benefit decisions

    March 3, 2014

    The Affordable Care Act’s ongoing rollout is likely to spark many employers to take action within their benefit plans. Whether it is utilization of a high-deductible health plan or emphasizing voluntary options, employers say that a change is imminent, according to a new study’s findings.


  • Consumers offered relief for exchange enrollment glitches

    March 3, 2014

    The Obama administration last week said it will offer relief to consumers unable to purchase health insurance through state-run exchanges that have been hampered by technical difficulties.


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