Health Insurance

EEOC Reverses Stance On Wellness Program Incentives

The government has reversed itself and said employer-sponsored wellness programs don't necessarily discriminate against workers. But businesses offering the plans to their employees are still struggling to show the programs can cut health care costs.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proposed a rule change, saying that cutting workers' insurance premiums as an incentive for them to get health screening tests or improve their health scores doesn't violate federal disabilities laws as long as Obamacare and federal privacy rules are met.

2014 Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary

The Zywave Health Plan Design Benchmark Report is based on data drawn from the largest database in the country, consisting of 50,000 health plan designs from over 31,000 employers during the 2014 calendar year.

The summary features various plan design measures, segmented by industry, region, group size and plan type.

The report provides benchmarking information on six key plan design measures:

DOL Issues Final Rule to Expand FMLA Protections for Same-sex Spouses

On Feb. 25, 2015, the DOL issued a final rule under the FMLA that expands federal family leave rights for same-sex spouses, regardless of where same-sex couples reside. The DOL’s new guidance for same-sex spouses takes effect on March 27, 2015. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes the final rule’s guidance, including its impact on FMLA leave for same-sex couples and their families.

Understanding Employer Reporting Requirements of the Health Care Law

The ACA created new reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require certain employers to provide information to the IRS about the health plan coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their employees. On Feb. 8, 2015, the IRS released final versions of forms and related instructions that employers may use to report under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2014. Although these forms are not required to be filed for 2014, reporting entities may voluntarily file in 2015 for 2014 coverage, using these forms and instructions.

Michigan Small Firms at a Crossroads: Purchase Plans, Use Private Exchange, or Self-Insure?

There has been debate about whether Michigan technically qualifies as a battleground state in political elections, but what’s clear is that it provides insight into the health insurance exchange (HIX) market impact on small employers in terms of both health plan costs and selection.

Three Things to Ask Your Health Insurance Agent

Our summer has been filled with great headlines about the growth of private health exchanges. With the exception of one study that focused on agents, private exchanges are golden! Accenture estimates that three million are already enrolled in a private exchange, exceeding their earlier enrollment estimates, and they now predict that 40 million employees will be in private exchanges by 2018.

U.S. Employers Expect Health Care Costs to Rise 4% in 2015

U.S. employers expect a 4% increase in 2015 health care costs for active employees after plan design changes, according to global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). If no adjustments are made, employers project a 5.2% growth rate, putting absolute cost per person for health care benefits at an all-time high.