HHS finalizes rule to improve marketplace stability

To improve the risk pool and otherwise stabilize the individual insurance market, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a final rule changing several components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace enrollment process and administration. The changes include modification of the dates for open enrollment, an enhanced pre-enrollment […]

ACA’s risk adjustment program reduced claims costs per enrollee, study shows

ACA’s risk adjustment program reduced claims costs per enrollee, study shows Although the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains uncertain, a recent study, published in the March issue of Health Affairs, sought to inform the discussion of how risk-sharing programs brought pursuant to the ACA can address risk selection. Specifically […]

IRS spotlights employer shared responsibility payments

The IRS has updated its webpage with a fact sheet containing information about the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). An applicable large employer (ALE) may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if it fails to offer minimum essential coverage or if it fails to offer […]

Majority support paid leave, but think employers should foot the bill

Many local and state governments recently have enacted laws to provide workers with access to paid family and sick leave. A recent study from Pew Research Center has found that Americans largely support paid leave, and most say that employers, rather than the federal and state government, should cover the costs of providing paid leave. […]

Review of sleep apnea policy’s lawfulness under ADA denied

The High Court will not revisit an Eight Circuit holding that summary judgment was properly granted against an overweight truck driver’s claim that being required to undergo a sleep study violated the ADA. The Court entered an order on April 3 denying the truck driver’s petition for certiorari in Parker v. Crete Carrier Corp. At […]

As employee expectations redefine workplace, retention is top priority, MetLife survey finds

The gig economy and demographic shifts are disrupting the workplace, redefining employees’ workplace expectations, according to MetLife’s 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study. MetLife’s study found that the gig economy is posing a real threat to employers, with over half (51 percent) of employees saying they are interested in contract or freelance work for […]

Change in enforcing FMLA notice procedures, timing of termination, suggested FMLA retaliation

An employee who was fired after she didn’t follow her employer’s FMLA leave request procedures for two absences had her FMLA interference claim tossed on summary judgment, but suspicious timing and the fact that the employer had previously excused her failure and retroactively approved absences as FMLA leave, raised a triable issue on her FMLA […]

Nurse fired for sleeping on the job can’t claim FMLA retaliation

Affirming summary judgment against an FMLA retaliation claim by a nurse fired for sleeping on the job soon after she returned from FMLA leave, the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that her comparators were not sufficiently similar, and none of the other circumstantial evidence was sufficient for a reasonable […]

More choice in employer plan offerings raises risk of adverse selection

When workers are offered more than one health plan, who switches their plans, and does it lead to adverse selection, causing healthy workers to leave certain health plans saddled with only high-cost sick workers? Evidence suggests it is mostly younger workers or higher-income workers without family coverage who switch―which does indeed raise the risk of […]

Employers overwhelmingly opposed to additional taxes on employer-provided health coverage

Employers overwhelmingly oppose taxing employer-provided health care benefits, according to recent research from Lockton. The survey found that more than 92 percent of responding employers are against any policy that would tax workers, their families, and employers on a portion of health plan premiums. Policy makers have been considering imposing additional income and payroll taxes […]