And from WBUR, a look at increased availability of health benefits for same-sex couples – You know how it goes: You have the great joy of the wedding — or of the gay pride celebrations that followed the Supreme Court’s marriage decision — and then the honeymoon’s over and it’s time to talk about the mundanities of stuff like (sigh) health insurance. (Goldberg, 6/29) In all, major employers have about 400,000 union workers whose contracts are up for negotiation this year. They include the Detroit auto makers, whose workforces have a combined 140,000 members of the United Auto Workers; a group of railroad operators including CSX Corp., with 142,000 union employees; and telecom companies like Verizon Communications Inc., which is in talks with about 40,000 wireline workers. Most labor talks involve some head-butting over benefits. But what’s different this time, corporate finance chiefs say, are a looming “Cadillac tax” on health-care plans and pension burdens that are dragging down profits. At New York-based Verizon, executives want to “redesign and reshape” health plans in a bid to cut overall cost, said Fran Shammo, chief financial officer. (Monga and Johnson, 6/30) Looming ‘Cadillac Tax’ Adds To Pressure To Cut Employee Health Benefits Also in the news, the Society of Human Resource Management finds in its annual survey of employee perks that wellness programs are becoming more common. The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal: Pressure To Cut Employee Benefits Threatens Labor Peace WBUR: More Health Coverage, And Perhaps More Health, For Same-Sex Couples The Washington Post: The Workplace Perks That Are In — And Out In its latest annual survey of what’s in and what’s out in the world of employee perks, the Society of Human Resource Management found that wellness benefits are only increasing in prevalence. For years, companies have been doing things like offering smoking cessation programs and rewarding employees with discounts for taking health assessments. But Evren Esen, director of survey programs for SHRM, said this year’s data show that a greater range of benefits are quickly “becoming more integrated into the organizational fabric of companies.” (McGregor, 6/29) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.