EBN helps you start your week with three important facts, developments or conversations from recent benefits-related events. This week: health reform! A study says governors’ refusal to expand Medicaid could cost employers in their states big time, a federal judge issues a halt order on PPACA’s contraception mandate and we at EBN list some key upcoming compliance deadlines.

1. 6 key compliance deadlines for 2013 and beyond
Preparing for the 2014 employer mandate is front-and-center in many benefits managers’ minds, but what about notices regarding public insurance exchanges? Or reducing waiting periods to 90 days? If you haven’t been keeping up, this could be your last, best warning. >>More 

2. Refusal to expand Medicaid may cost employers $1 billion
A clause in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act penalizes some employers when their workers aren’t able to obtain affordable medical coverage through the company. Employers can avoid those fees if their workers qualify for Medicaid as part of an expansion that as many as 22 states have rejected. >>More

3. Michigan judge blocks health care mandate for contraceptives
Claiming it violates his First Amendment rights, a Michigan employer has sued over PPACA’s requirement that employer-sponsored health insurance cover contraception, and a judge has said he is under no obligation to obey the rule while his lawsuit is pending. >>More

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