KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

AOL Blames Health Law For Change In Retirement Benefits, Without Details

AOL owns websites such as Huffington Post.

The Washington Post: AOL Chief Cuts 401(k) Benefits, Blames Obamacare And Two ‘Distressed Babies’
AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong on Thursday offered a number of unusual explanations for why his company pulled back its 401(k) benefits for employees this year. The first reason: Obamacare. The second: two women at the company who had "distressed babies" in 2012. ... "As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?," said Armstrong in the CNBC interview (Yang, 2/6).

Bloomberg: AOL Blames Obamacare For Plan To Reduce Retirement Benefits
Armstrong didn’t specify how the health-care law had increased costs for New York-based AOL. ... In a memo to employees, Armstrong said he had mentioned high-risk pregnancy “as just one of many examples of how our company supports families when they are in need.” He said AOL aims to be “open and transparent about the choices we make” (Harrison, 2/6).

NBC News: AOL Alters 401(k) Matching Contributions, Blaming Obamacare
Starting in 2014, AOL will distribute the 50 percent company match on up to 6 percent of employees' pre-tax income in a lump sum after the end of the year, instead of paying the benefit throughout the year as it had done previously. That means workers who leave AOL before Dec. 31 won't get the year's company match at all (Belvedere, 2/6).

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