ICE Begins Another Round of I-9 Inspections

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has sent out another 1,000 notices of inspection (NOIs) to U.S. businesses, demanding that they provide I-9 Employment Verification Form proof of their employees' legal right to work in the United States. (A sample letter is shown at right.) The Form I-9 is required of all new hires and employees […]

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Businesses Can’t SHOP at Marketplaces Until Nov. 1, Administration Admits

Another setback in the Obamacare Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) was announced today by the Obama administration, admitting its computer system won't be ready to accept online applications until Nov. 1 instead of the Oct. 1 opening of the Health Insurance Marketplaces (though it says individual purchases won't be affected). Previously in April, the […]

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Expect More HIPAA Audits in 2014, OCR Says

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is gearing up to resume its privacy and security audit program in 2014, following a pilot program conducted in 2012-2013. The audits, based on compliance with both HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and this year's HIPAA Omnibus Rule, […]

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Average Obamacare Silver Plan to Cost $328 a Month

According to a report about the Health Insurance Marketplaces issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), "the average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 [a month] before tax credits." However, HHS says about 6 out of 10 of the uninsured today will be eligible for […]

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Workers’ Comp Claims Drop Nationwide Except for Fraudulent Ones

In a report covering the past two-and-a-half years, the National Insurance Crime Bureau says the number of workers' compensation claims nationwide is falling year to year — from 3.35 million in 2011 to 3.24 million in 2012 — but questionable claims are rising, from 3,474 in 2011 to 4,460 in 2012. Judging by statistics for […]

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Sacre Bleu! France Forces Sephora to Shut Down by 9 p.m.

It's not the only store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris that stays open past 9 p.m., the official closing time for all stores in the country according to French law, but it's been "stabbed" by labor unions and forced to observe the curfew, says a spokesperson. It's true that French authorities have ordered Sephora, the […]

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‘Christmas in July’ Spending Intensifies as FY 2013 Nears End

Federal agencies, though with reduced budgets because of the sequestration that kicked in at the start of the calendar year, are still rushing to spend every allocated penny before the close of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30. The spending is part of a Washington routine known as "Christmas in July" as federal agencies […]

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Under Obamacare, Lower Costs = Fewer Choices, NYT Reports

In a report that is not all that surprising, the New York Times has concluded that insurers offering health care policies on the Obamacare Marketplaces are keeping costs lower by reducing the number of providers and choices available to purchasers. An article in today's edition by Robert Pear sums it up this way: "From California […]

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DOL Recognizes ‘State of Celebration’ for Same-Sex Marriages

Agreeing with an earlier pronouncement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance that, for purposes of benefit plan administration for same-sex spouses, the agency would recognize a "state of celebration" as the applicable standard. In other words, even if the couple resides in a state that does not […]

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Two Weeks Before Launch, Obamacare Software Flunks Basic Math

With just two weeks before the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplaces, which will sell insurance to millions of Americans not covered at work and millions more not previously able to buy coverage, the federal computer software program is still miscalculating premiums, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal that […]

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