Some 1.2 Million Cost-Conscious Consumers Switch Obamacare Plans for 2015

Of the 4.7 million persons who obtained insurance coverage from HealthCare.gov in 2014, about 1.2 million of them shopped around and switched plans for 2015. Another 1 million did comparison shopping but stuck with their 2014 plans. The unexpected shopping spree was attributed in large part to premium variations. The most successful insurance companies from 2014, […]

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CMS Establishes New Obamacare Open Enrollment Period for 2016 Plans

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued the Final HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016.  This rule seeks to improve consumers’ experience in the Health Insurance Marketplace and to ensure their coverage options are affordable and accessible. The rule finalizes the annual open enrollment period for 2016 to begin […]

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T.J. Maxx Group Follows Lead of Wal-Mart on Minimum Wages

TJX Cos., parent of retail stores T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, announced today that it will boost wages to a minimum of $10 an hour in 2016 for all employees who’ve been on board for six months. In June, it will raise its minimum wage to $9 an hour in advance of next year’s move. […]

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IRS Won’t Ding Those Who Got Erroneous Tax Statements from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week admitted that it had sent out some 800,000 erroneous Obamacare tax statements that either over-stated or under-stated the individuals’ tax credits for the health insurance they purchased on HealthCare.gov in 2014. In response, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the 50,000 people who […]

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DOL Rewrites Definition of Spouse for FMLA Purposes

Workers in legal, same-sex marriages, regardless of where they live, will now have the same rights as those in opposite-sex marriages to federal job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a spouse with a serious health condition, following a rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL). The Labor […]

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Obama Administration Asks Judge to Stay His Immigration Injunction

The Obama administration today opened two fronts in trying to lift the injunction against its immigration plans, first by asking the federal judge in Texas who issued the injunction to stay it and second by appealing the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The request for a stay — or […]

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HHS to Provide Funds to Help Hospitals Prepare for and Respond to Ebola

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA):  the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Ebola Preparedness and Response Activities. This funding opportunity will award a total of $194.5 million to states and other grantees for Ebola health care system preparedness and response and the development of a regional […]

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HHS Messes Up & Makes Up

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has offered a mea culpa after it mailed 800,000 incorrect tax forms for those who signed up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov for 2014. The forms show the tax subsidy that the enrollee is entitled to; some forms overstated and others understated the amount and will be […]

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Title VII Protects Against Discrimination on Sexual Orientation, EEOC Memo Says

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which fields complaints of discrimination based on the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, appears now to be actively pursuing and enforcing claims related to sex discrimination against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. A Feb. 3 memo issued by Nicholas M. Inzeo, […]

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Wal-Mart Jumps on the Minimum Wage Bandwagon

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced today that it will be raising the wage floor on its U.S. employees to $10 an hour by Feb. 1, 2016, and as a steppingstone to $9 an hour by mid-year. “These changes will give our U.S. associates the opportunity to earn higher pay and advance in their careers,” said Doug […]

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