Spencer and Benefits NetNews – October 31, 2014


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Featured This Week

New Reports



October 31, 2014

Familiarity With Defined Contribution Health Plans, Exchanges High, But Misconceptions Abound

Sixty percent of employers have heard of defined contribution health benefit programs, and 56 percent have heard of private insurance exchanges, according to a recent study by Alegeus Technologies. But the study also revealed an education gap and numerous misconceptions among those who claim such familiarity…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Senators And 13 States File Briefs In Support Of Artist’s Origination Clause Challenge

Four friend-of-the court (amicus curiae) briefs have recently been filed in support of the Pacific Legal Foundation’s (PLF’s) “Origination Clause” challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The PLF had filed a petition for
en banc review on behalf of artist Matt Sissel after a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the dismissal of his claims that the ACA unconstitutionally originated in the Senate…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 30, 2014

Nearly One-Third Of Companies Delayed Health Plan Renewal Date To December 2014

Thirty-two percent of employers delayed their health plan renewal date until December 1 to avoid rate increases, according to a recent survey from United Benefits Advisors (UBA). The number of employers delaying their renewal date until December 1 increased 322 percent from 2013 to 2014. Of the employers delaying the renewal date, 94 percent were small businesses with less than 100 employees…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Former Employee’s Claim That Application Was Rejected Due To Prior FMLA Leave Revived

Explaining that FMLA retaliation provisions apply to former employees who are rejected for rehire based on past FMLA leave, and finding triable issues on whether a former hospital employee’s application was rejected because of a purportedly profane message or because she took FMLA leave while working for a sister hospital, the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reversed summary judgment on her FMLA claim. The Eleventh Circuit noted that the rejected nurse’s evidence of pretext included the recruiter’s notes on her prior use of leave, the absence of evidence that she left an unprofessional voicemail, and the fact that her application was rejected the same day the recruiter learned of her prior leave. The case is
Coleman v. Redmond Park Hospital, LLC (No. 14-10570)…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 29, 2014

Government Reportedly Reviewing Concerns With ACA Calculator

The federal calculator used to determine whether an employer-sponsored insurance plan provides minimum value under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) appears to be malfunctioning, according to benefits experts who are eagerly awaiting guidance from the Treasury Department on a possible fix. The online calculator is approving employer-sponsored insurance plans that offer employees coverage for doctor visits and prescription medicines, without requiring corresponding hospitalization coverage, the experts said…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

EHBs Vary Widely From State To State

Essential health benefits (EHBs), those 10 categories of health services that must be covered by new plans sold on the individual market or to small groups, vary considerably from state to state. This is by design, since the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is allowing each state to define its own EHBs in 2014 and 2015 using an existing benefits package offered by the state’s “benchmark plan”…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 28, 2014

Uninsured Mostly Unaware Of Health Reform Law

November 15 marks the beginning of the second annual open enrollment period under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and “major gaps” have been identified by the Kaiser Family Foundation in its study on the awareness levels of the nation’s uninsured residents. Kaiser found that 89 percent of the currently uninsured are unaware that open enrollment even begins in November…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »