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Overtime Rules Could Benefit 6 Million Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor is planning on amending the Fair Labor Standards Act so that more workers will be eligible for mandatory time-and-a-half pay for overtime hours. And, not surprisingly, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute, women and minorities will benefit much more from such a change than white males. Read more.

Employers Turn to Reference-Based Health Care Pricing

An April 2014 analysis of health claims data by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that if employers had adopted reference pricing for the six health care services EBRI analyzed, it would have reduced their overall health care spending by 1.6 percent that year. Savings from reference pricing materializes through the combination of 1) patients choosing providers at the reference price, 2) patients paying the difference between the reference price and the allowed charge through cost sharing, and 3) providers reducing their prices to the reference price. Read more.

Lawmakers, Contractors Divided Over Executive Orders

President Obama’s executive order cracking down on federal contractors who have violated labor laws have divided lawmakers, federal employee groups and contractors over how effective it will be in deterring abuses. The executive order is one of four this year that have singled out federal contractors while imposing specific and unique requirements for those who want to do business with the federal government, according to the PSC. Read more.

Wide Variation in Hospital Charges for Blood Tests Called ‘Irrational’

The wide disparity in hospitals’ listed charges for routine blood tests at California hospitals was revealed in a study published in the August issue of BMJ Open. One California hospital charged $10 for a blood cholesterol test, while another hospital that ran the same test charged $10,169 — over 1,000 times more. Read more.

Will Employer-sponsored Health Insurance Survive?

Will the link between employment and health insurance survive? That’s one of the serious questions that a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., raises about the future of employee benefits. Read more.

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