Aetna weighs exits. The Affordable Care Act received another blow Tuesday after the health insurer Aetna Inc. announced it may leave markets created by the law, Bloomberg reports. The company has not left any states that sell Obamacare programs, but Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said the company will decide on the matter in the upcoming weeks. Aetna Inc. faces more than $300 million in losses from ACA health plans this year and covers 838,000 people through the Obamacare plans.
Death and taxes. The Treasury Department wants to make it more difficult for families to avoid the estate tax after proposing a series of new regulations on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. Few people are affected by the estate tax, which is levied on estates worth more than $5.45 million per person and $10.86 million per couple. Only about 2 out of every 1,000 estates actually have to pay the tax. Still, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will bring in $249 billion between 2017 and 2016. The Treasury Department did not predict whether it sees an increase in the number of families that pay the tax or if any additional revenue will exist after the changes.
No questions asked. Massachusetts became the first bar employers from asking potential employees about their previous salaries before making a job offer, the New York Times reports. The law comes as an effort to reduce the wage gap between men and women. When the law takes affect in July of 2018, interviewers will no longer ask applicants to disclose or discuss their wages at a previous job. The status quo often leaves job seekers worried the new employer would have offered them more money if their earlier salary had been higher. In an effort to increase transparency in the workplace, employers will also not be allowed to prohibit workers from telling each other how much they are paid.
The rise of private cyber-defense contractors. Hackers made headlines once again last week after the leak of thousands of emails taken from the Democratic National Committee. The Los Angeles Times profiled the group hired to respond to the incident, the firm CrowdStrike, and looked at the competitive field of cybersecurity. The 5-year-old company pulled in sales of $100 million this year after proving its effectiveness in the market, defending a growing number of clients from breaches as security concerns continue to grow with attacks on companies like Target and Sony Pictures. Analysts at the research firm Gartner say that the security-software market hit $22 billion last year and that sales have been growing by $1 billion for three straight years.