Payroll jousting, budget bomb and surging HSAs: This week in benefits

A round-up of the week’s employee benefits news, reports and controversy from around the web

 

Recommended reads from around the web

Health insurance providers seek direct-to-consumer connections (Advertising Age)

Signs your pension plan is in trouble (The Wall Street Journal)

Success of health reform hinges on hiring 30k doctors by 2015 (The Washington Post)

Race and retirement (Forbes)

What retirement? Seniors are getting back to work (NPR)

Why health care costs vary in one chart (The Washington Post)

Mapping the effects of the ACA’s health insurance coverage expansion (Kaiser)

If you plan to live to 100, plan very well (The Wall Street Journal)

The secret of American health care (Slate)

Warning signs that your employees are about to leave (American Express Open Forum)

The 8 million that health care reform forgot (Huffington Post)

The GOP plans to give your boss “moral” control over your health insurance (Mother Jones)


Best blogs on BenefitsPro this week

Make love, not war, by Denis Storey

This is the week we celebrate St. Valentine, with flowers and wine and lots of candy. So it’s either weirdly appropriate or painfully ironic that the beltway explodes in a somewhat contrived debate over contraceptives at the same.

DOL weathers the critics, by Jenny Ivy

DOL's "Budget Web Chat" (#DOLBUDGET) held Monday was an opportunity for social media users to exchange thoughts, concerns, questions and blame with the U.S. agency responsible for the welfare of workers, job seekers and retirees.

Flying the not-so-friendly skies, by Andy Stonehouse

American Airlines has a bigger issue than Alec Baldwin's nasty tweets. Dropping its pension plan and laying off 13,000 employees creates some bad optics.

Top 5 carriers — Anthem, by Dan Cole

Last week, we saw a good example of a health insurance carrier, Aetna, that exemplifies the “average”: typical commissions, straight spread across market sizes, and diverse geographical coverage. This week we’re going to look at the smallest of the top 5: Anthem.

Are annuities the high-speed rail of retirement plans?, by Chris Carosa

If people don’t want a “must have” product, must we really have it?


Most talked-about story on BenefitsPro this week: Make love, not war


Most sardonic reader on BenefitsPro this week

Ceegee: “Get ready for toxic HSA's!” (In response to Bank of America sees record HSA growth)

 
If I missed a news story or you have a good story you’d recommend to other readers, please comment below, and I’ll broadcast your suggestion via Twitter.
 
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About the Author
James E. Green

James E. Green

James E. Green is the Group Editorial Director of Summit Business Media's Life & Health Group, which includes National Underwriter Life & Health, Life Insurance Selling, Agent's Sales Journal, Senior Market Advisor, Producers Web, Benefits Selling and BenefitsPro.com.

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