Brokers busy as employer mandate nears; ACA impact on employer-sponsored insurance minimal;

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> With the Jan. 1 deadline for the employer mandate approaching, insurance brokers face the tall task of understanding the mandate's many complexities, according to BenefitsPro. Brokers will do best if they work as a partner with clients, and not simply by selling to them. Article

> The Affordable Care Act's impact on enrollment in employer-sponsored health plans has thus far been minimal, Health Affairs reported, though the improving economy and "tightening" labor markets might explain why. Article

> The Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with eight of the nation's largest pharmacy chains to encourage enrollment in the health insurance marketplace. Statement

Healthcare News

> Following up on its investigation into poor patient safety and lax oversight at military hospitals, a new report from the New York Times reveals how the system itself is designed to discourage internal criticism and even punish those who point out problems in care. Article

> A 10 percent reduction in emergency surgery for three common procedures could save healthcare providers $1 billion over a decade, according to a new study published in the Annals of Surgery. Article

And finally … Santa's animal helpers are probably Norwegian and female, and other reindeer facts. Article