Motive for firing employee shortly after she took time off to care for husband was questionable

An employee who was terminated seven days after telling her supervisor she would be submitting FMLA paperwork for leave to care for her husband, who had been diagnosed with brain tumors, raised genuine issues of fact sufficient to survive summary judgment on her FMLA interference and retaliation claims, held a federal court in Maryland. Temporal […]

Creditable coverage disclosure due to CMS by March 1

Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D must disclose to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the coverage is creditable or non-creditable. The disclosure obligation applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage, even those that do not offer prescription drug […]

Tasking employee while she was on FMLA leave could constitute interference

Denying a school board’s motion for summary judgment in part, a federal district court in Illinois concluded that a principal who telephoned a teacher who was on medical leave and asked her to come up with lesson plans and to post grades could be considered to have “crossed the line into interference.” However, the employer’s […]

Employees’ mistaken acknowledgment of independent contractor status precludes ERISA and COBRA claims

ERISA and COBRA claims brought by employees against Superior Healthplan, Inc., and Centene Corporation were dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, based on an agreement the employees had signed that acknowledged they were independent contractors, not common law employees. The employees were allowed to proceed with claims under the […]

Report shows continued shift toward consumer-directed health care

The third annual “State of Employee Benefits” report published by Benefitfocus, Inc., shows a continued shift toward consumer-directed health care, with the rate of employers offering at least one high-deductible health plan (HDHP) increasing more than 20 percent since 2016. This growth primarily stems from employers offering HDHPs alongside traditional health plans, reflecting the increased […]

Court won’t reconsider denial of summary judgment to employer who arguably fired worker based on FMLA-qualifying absences

An employer who fired a worker after he received three disciplinary notices, two of which may have been issued based on FMLA-qualifying absences, failed to persuade a Kentucky federal court to reconsider its prior decision denying summary judgment on the employee’s FMLA interference and retaliation claims. The court rejected the employee’s assertion that the employer […]

Retiring employees had vested right to benefits, but required scope of benefits is jury question

Retired county workers who alleged their former employer breached its promise of cost-free retiree health coverage for life at the same level the employee enjoyed on his last day of employment will present their contract claims to a jury, a federal district court in Georgia decided. The court found the employees had a vested right […]

Workers’ confidence about the future of the health care system is low

Workers’ confidence about specific aspects of the health care system overall is mixed, and falls the further out into the future one looks, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The 2017 Health and Workplace Benefits Survey found that while 45 percent of workers are extremely or very confident about their […]

Tax law fueling changes to employer benefits and compensation programs, survey finds

The new tax reform law is fueling changes to corporate America’s employee benefits, compensation, total rewards and executive pay programs, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey of 333 large and midsize employers reveals nearly half (49 percent) of the respondents are considering making a change to at least one of these […]

Rising prices drive pace of health spending increase

Americans used the same amount or less health care in 2016 compared to 2015, but rising prices caused overall spending in 2016 to grow faster than any time in the last five years, according to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The report, Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, analyzed health care […]