INSURANCE

Small business owners: Do you offer health benefits?

04/15/2014
Two-thirds of small business owners polled say they offer health insurance to their employees. However, size matters—the more employees, the more likely they receive health benefits.

ACA: House bill defines full-time work as 40 hours per week

04/09/2014
Legislation passed April 3 by the House of Representatives defines a full-time job as averaging 40 hours per week, up from 30 hours specified in the Affordable Care Act.

ACA: What majority agrees on

04/08/2014
As the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline loomed for individuals to sign up for health insurance, 38% of the public viewed the law favorably and 46% opposed it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

33% of firms eye private health exchanges

04/02/2014
Most employers plan to continue sponsoring health benefits for their employees, but will change the way those benefits are managed and delivered in the coming years. New research finds that traditional models for providing employer-sponsored health benefits will continue, while private insurance exchanges are emerging as corporate America’s new favored way to provide coverage.

Real-world cost of health insurance: $270 per month

03/31/2014

The news is full of reports on the premiums being paid for health coverage acquired through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. Depending on the political spin, they’re either onerously expensive or ridiculously cheap. Could the truth be somewhere in the middle?

Beware promising that benefits are permanent

03/27/2014
Here’s something to think about when you revise your handbook or send out an announcement outlining your benefit plan: Be sure to tell workers that benefits can change at any time and that this year’s offering isn’t a promise that the benefits described will continue indefinitely.

Era of low health care cost growth continues

03/26/2014
The cost of providing employer-sponsored health care benefits is expected to increase 4.4% this year, a slight uptick from 2013, when cost increases fell to a 15-year low, according to an annual survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, an association of large employers.

Sheetz makes 'Best Companies to Work For' list

03/06/2014
Fortune magazine has listed its 100 best companies to work for in 2014 and Altoona-based Sheetz convenience stores is the sole Pennsylvania-based company on the list.

New rules proposed for excepted benefits

03/03/2014
Excepted benefits aren’t subject to the Affordable Care Act health care reform law. Proposed regulations would modify limited-scope dental and vision excepted benefits, create new wraparound coverage to group plans that would be considered excepted benefits and clarify Employee Assistance Plans.

ACA: Health benefit waiting periods capped at 90 days

02/28/2014
Employer-sponsored group health plans cannot impose waiting periods that exceed 90 days after an employee is otherwise eligible for insurance coverage under a final Affordable Care Act rule issued Feb. 20 by the Obama administration.

Researchers: ACA will improve incomes of poor

02/28/2014
The ACA will raise household incomes for the poorest fifth of Americans, while higher income groups will experience small losses, according to a new Brookings Institution study.

Final rule delays ACA employer mandate

02/18/2014
The ACA’s employer mandate has been delayed until Jan. 1, 2016, for mid-sized employers, while compliance thresholds for large employers have been scaled back.

Survey: Employees like current health benefits, are open to ACA exchanges

02/12/2014
Most workers are satisfied with the health benefits they have now and aren’t interested in changing the current mix of benefits and wages offered by their employers, according to a new survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

ACA FAQ explains wellness issues

02/06/2014
The Obama administration has released its 18th round of frequently asked questions about implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Post-Windsor, what's the tax status of benefits for same-sex married couples?

02/05/2014
Q. In the wake of United States v. Windsor, we have extended a number of our employee benefits to same-sex married couples. Can you provide any guidance on the proper treatment of flexible spending account (FSA) expenses and health savings account (HSA) and dependent care assistance program (DCAP) contribution limits for same-sex married couples?
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