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ITASCA, Ill., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) today announced the acquisition of Longfellow Financial, LLC of Boston, Massachusetts. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Giving Ikea Workers Another Reason to Stay" by David Shadovitz, Human Resource Executive Online, David Boucher quoted., Human Resource Executive Online As you probably already know, Swedish home-furnishing retailer Ikea came under fire earlier this week for allegations that its...
Implementing Employee Volunteer Programs and Wellness: Healthy Communities and Employees, by Kristie Howard, published in Benefits Magazine... http://www.longfellowbenefits.com/sites/all/files/longben/newsfiles/Benefits%20Magazine%20Dec%202013.pdf 

Industry Headlines

11/26/2014 - JAMA Forum: Why Health Insurance Literacy Matters
Larry Levitt's November 2014 post looks at the challenges with people not understanding basic health insurance concepts as millions of them evaluate and choose health plans during open enrollment season for insurance in 2015.
11/25/2014 - Estimating Federal Payments and Eligibility for Basic Health Programs: An Illustrative Example
In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.
11/25/2014 - The ACA’s Basic Health Program Option: Federal Requirements and State Trade-Offs
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.