Uninsured rates for some groups rose, survey finds

Uninsured rates rose for people aged 35 to 49, adults making more than 400 percent of the poverty level, and those living in states that did not expand Medicaid, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund. However, the overall uninsured rate has remained statistically unchanged from 2016 at 14 percent, or 27 million working-age […]

Employers look to reduce work-from-home options, but job candidates not on board

While there is a trend among some larger companies of bringing remote workers back into corporate offices, candidates still expect work from home options, according to new data from the MRINetwork 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study. Increased collaboration, creativity, mentoring and innovation are employers’ intent, but they may be alienating top talent in the executive, managerial […]

Prescription drug spending in U.S. among highest worldwide

Prescription drug spending in the United States exceeds spending in nine other high income countries, with generic drugs comprising 84 percent of the total pharmaceutical market. Besides the U.S., a Commonwealth Fund issue brief looked at prescription drug spending in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Prescription drug […]

Crunching the ‘hours worked’ number lets employer avoid FMLA interference claim

No matter which way an employee tried to count her hours worked, she came up short of the requisite 1,250 hours worked during the 12 months preceding her requested taking of leave, she was not an eligible employee under the FMLA, a federal district court in Iowa ruled. Her firing for accumulating too many absences […]

Major ACA provisions improved minority access to health care

Health care access disparities experienced by blacks and Hispanics, compared to whites, narrowed after the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) were implemented. According to the Commonwealth Fund, states that chose to expand their Medicaid programs were more likely to see greater declines in this disparity. Improved insurance rates. As […]

After years of erosion, employer health insurance offer rate ticks up in 2016

Despite predictions the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would cause private sector employers to stop offering health coverage to their workers, the national offer rate is ticking up, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). EBRI noted that the offer rate has likely increased because of a health economy […]

Survey suggests HR missing the mark when it comes to open enrollment

As many HR departments prepare for open enrollment, Namely, an HR platform for mid-sized companies, has released the results of its open enrollment survey and identified what is most important to employees in a top-notch benefits experience. Key among the survey findings is that 36 percent of employees give their HR department a “C” or […]

DOL, IRS provide relief for benefit plans affected by Hurricane Harvey

The Labor Department has issued ERISA compliance guidance that applies generally to employee benefit plans, plan sponsors, employers and employees, and service providers to employers located in a county identified for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. IRS relief. The relief given is in addition […]

Question remained whether employee was prejudiced by leave denial

A hospital medical staff coordinator was allowed to continue with her claim that her employer violated the FMLA by denying one request for leave and terminating her after she returned from another instance of leave. At issue: whether she was prejudiced by the leave denial, given that she was provided a flexible schedule instead, which […]

Guidance reminds health insurers they cannot deny coverage based on gender identity

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has sent a circular letter to health insurers in New York stressing that they cannot discriminate or deny coverage based on gender identity. New York Governor Cuomo said the action is aimed at making sure that transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals receive coverage regardless of whether they present […]