Personal Finance

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Listen live on Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:00 am.

Connecticut’s 4th district congressman joins us this hour for an update from his district and Washington. Despite some Tweets you may have seen, Himes does not intend on playing in the NBA.

But we will check-in with him and discuss some of the big topics in Washington over the last few months including President Obama’s big trade deal, and changes in how the U.S. collects intelligence. 

Sage Ross, Wikimedia Commons

Aetna will become the nation’s second largest health insurer as it announces a deal to buy Kentucky-based Humana. The $37 billion dollar deal will significantly increase Aetna’s presence in the market for government plans like Medicare Advantage, which offers privately-run versions of Medicare plans. 

George Ruiz / Creative Commons

The Supreme Court may have given health insurance companies more certainty on the Affordable Care Act, but merger speculation continues in the industry. Will the Big Five end up as the Big Three?

And what will that mean for consumers? 

The U.S. economy keeps adding jobs at a steady pace, but the Labor Department report for June also shows more people are leaving the labor force and wages are not rising.

The economy added 223,000 jobs last month as unemployment fell to its lowest rate since 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. The jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent from 5.5 percent in May.

The Justice Department says it is investigating "possible unlawful coordination" by several major airline carriers. American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have all confirmed receiving letters from the Justice Department.

In a statement, American said the department "seeks documents and information from the last two years that are related to statements and decisions about airline capacity."

A United spokesman said the company is complying fully in regard to the probe.

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State regulators look poised to reject a $3 billion foreign takeover of Connecticut’s second largest utility. 

A small company in California is hoping to make a big splash by providing detailed flood maps to homeowners and insurance companies. And to do that, the company is using one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

The company is called Katrisk, based in Berkeley, Calif. Hydrologist and computer modeler Dag Lohmann is one of the company's founders. He says the flood maps the Federal Emergency Management Agency already produces will tell you how prone a particular area is to flooding.

Obama To Expand Overtime Pay For Millions

Jun 30, 2015

President Obama announced this week that the Labor Department will expand overtime pay, in a move the administration estimates would impact 5 million U.S. workers. That would double the income threshold at which employers can avoid paying overtime.

Right now, only salaried employees earning less $23,660 a year are eligible for overtime. This rule would raise that threshold so that employees making up to $50,660 a year would get paid overtime.

Ken Teegardin / Creative Commons

Connecticut could see its job growth actually decline this year and next, according to a dire new forecast from UConn’s Center for Economic Analysis.

A 4 / Creative Commons

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. says it will expand its presence in research centers in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, while cutting jobs in Connecticut.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

Stevie Gill / Creative Commons

If the State of Connecticut was a college student, it would be the one who crams for every exam and writes every final paper the night before. We say this, because the fiscal year starts on July 1, and a special session to finish the details of the state budget is reportedly scheduled for the last two days of June.

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

Charlie Smart / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has taken to citing a tax study by Ernst and Young which he claims shows Connecticut has among the lowest corporate tax rates in the nation.

But the lead author of the study doesn’t agree with the governor’s interpretation, and on Monday, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association invited Andrew Phillips to explain why.

sphilbrick, via Wikimedia Commons

After weeks of rumors at least one potential deal in the health insurance industry is out in the open - but it may be going nowhere. On Sunday Bloomfield’s Cigna publicly rejected an offer from Anthem, calling the $47 billion bid "deeply disappointing." 

Pictures of Money / Creative Commons

Last week, non-profit Hartford Healthcare said they would cut the jobs of over 400 people if the state increased taxes on hospitals to what they say are unsustainable rates.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A coalition of labor unions and social services advocates say Connecticut lawmakers should increase income taxes on the wealthy rather than impose spending cuts to cover the governor's proposed rollback of business tax increases.

Chris Potter / Creative Commons

Connecticut added 6,400 jobs in May, and the state’s unemployment rate fell to six percent. The figures mean so far in 2015, the state is showing its strongest performance since the post-recession recovery began. That’s despite the fact that the department also revised April’s figures from a 1,200 job gain to a 600 job loss. 

Hartford Healthcare

Hartford Healthcare will lay off hundreds of staff, saying the cuts are necessary because of reduced reimbursement for Medicaid patients. 

M 93 / Creative Commons

You don’t have to be an expert to see the auto industry is finally back on track. After the financial crisis several years ago and the $80 billion government bailout of GM, GMAC and Chrysler, car manufactures around the country seem to be doing quite well on their own these days.

Do you know what broad spectrum means? What about SPF? No need to be ashamed if you can't answer those questions, because you're not alone.

In a survey of 114 people, a mere 7 percent knew that "broad spectrum" on a sunblock label means it defends against early aging.

Chuck Miller / Creative Commons

Two big Connecticut corporations threatened to leave the state after a budget deal was reached before the end of the regular session. But were they empty threats? Governor Dannel Malloy didn't want to take any chances and announced last week a reduction in business tax hikes. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse continues the budget drama, and other legislation that may be taken up during a special session. One of those, Malloy's "Second Chance Society" proposals were touted by the governor in Germany this week.

Federal officials have spent years locked in a secret legal battle with UnitedHealth Group, the nation's biggest Medicare Advantage insurer, after a government audit detected widespread overbilling at one of the company's health plans, newly released records show.

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Handgun purchasing laws in Connecticut have resulted in a 40 percent drop in statewide gun deaths, according to a new study out of Johns Hopkins University. 

Rob Dozier / WNPR

A coalition of activists and labor unions has written an open letter to General Electric, accusing the corporation of paying no taxes in the state of Connecticut, and commending the legislature for its attempt to increase business taxes in the recent budget bill.

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The state legislature left some work to do after the regular session ended, but it did change the way the car tax is applied across the state. 

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, panelists broke down the way the state budget would affect the tax and how complex it appears to be.

Daniel Schwen / Creative Commons

The state of Indiana is suggesting three major Connecticut employers that openly criticized planned tax increases consider moving to the Hoosier State. 

Homeowners interested in switching to solar energy will soon have the option to do so with no upfront costs. The nation’s largest rooftop solar installer is coming to Rhode Island. Starting this week, California-based SolarCity will offer Rhode Islanders loans to buy home solar systems.

Sage Ross, Wikimedia Commons

The leader of Connecticut’s largest business organization has written to Governor Dannel Malloy asking for an emergency summit on the budget. 

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