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Health Care Costs

HHS Proposes Rules to Verify Health Care Premium Subsidy Eligibility

January 15, 2013
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Under the proposed rule, administrators of state and federal insurance exchanges must verify whether applicants seeking tax credits to buy health care coverage through an exchange are enrolled or eligible for qualifying coverage in an employer-sponsored health care plan.
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Certifications Aid Navigation of the Affordable Care Act Maze

January 14, 2013
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Finding a qualified partner in the employee benefits industry can help companies adjust to the ACA regulatory landscape. Accreditations are enhancing their knowledge.
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Massachusetts Bill Would End Employer Penalty for Not Offering Health Plan

January 10, 2013
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Under the governor's plan, the current annual assessment—known as the Fair Share contribution—of $295 per employee on employers not offering coverage would end on June 30.
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Wellness Programs Can Reduce Worker Medical Costs by 18 Percent: Study

January 9, 2013
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The report said wellness programs could reduce costs for risks such as physical inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. If the risk factors were lowered to “theoretical minimums,” health care expenses could be lowered by an average of $650, or 18.4 percent, for all working adults, the study said.
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Specialty Drugs and the Cost Conundrum

January 3, 2013
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Steep prices of specialty drugs—such as Humira or Enbrel, which can cost more than $14,000 annually—are prompting employers to focus on managing the expense. But the question is how. “There are lots of cogs in this wheel and that complicates the management of these drugs,” says Cheryl Larson, vice president of the Midwest Business Group on Health.
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Minnesota, Rhode Island Get OK to Launch Health Insurance Exchanges

December 20, 2012
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has given tentative approval to applications filed by Minnesota and Rhode Island to launch health insurance exchanges in 2014.
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Group Benefits Costs to Rise at Slowest Rate in 11 Years: Study

December 19, 2012
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A survey of 123 insurers and benefits administrators, released Dec. 17, indicated that group health care plan cost increases through June 2013 will be between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent lower than they were in the first half of this year.
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Coalition Cautions Employers to Weigh the Risks of Wellness Incentives

December 18, 2012
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The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society are among the groups providing guidance on how organizations can design outcomes-based incentives programs that don't discriminate against employees.
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Cabinet-maker Among Firms Adding Wellness to Health Care Cupboard

December 18, 2012
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For companies considering healthy programs, it's important to create a wellness culture, one executive says. “If you're doing it just to attack claims, don't do it. It won't succeed.”
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Pennsylvania Will Not Set Up Health Insurance Exchange

December 13, 2012
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Pennsylvania is the latest state to declare it will not set up a state health exchange. States have until Dec. 14 to inform federal regulators whether they intend to establish exchanges.
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