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January 9, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Plan Consultant
for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group in NY

401(k) Relationship Manager
for Industry Leading Financial Services Firm in CA

Senior Manager, Global Retirement
for AECOM in CA

Pension Consultant / Administrator
for Jim Hallinan Pension Consulting, LLC in CT

Director, Business Development
for Tegrit Retirement Plan Services in OH

PAS Client Services Manager
for Milliman in TX

Senior Relationship Manager
for Milliman in TX

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health Care Reform Developments in 2012 and Beyond: Donít Wait!
Nationwide on January 23, 2012 presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Massachusetts Health Insurance Market Outlook Seminar
in Massachusetts on February 7, 2012 presented by New England Employee Benefits Council


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[Guidance Overview]
IRS Guidance on Mandatory Reporting of Value of Health Coverage on 2012 Forms W-2
"Importantly, health coverage is treated as applicable employer-sponsored coverage without regard to whether the employer or the employee pays for the coverage, or whether or not the value of the coverage is includible in the employee's income." (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)


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[Guidance Overview]
IRS Issues Revised Guidance on Form W-2 Health Coverage Reporting
"The revisions should help employers and advisors as they navigate the new reporting requirement, especially with respect to application of the requirement to EAPs, wellness programs, and on-site medical clinics. However, calculating the cost of coverage will continue to be a challenge, particularly for self-insured plans." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Highlights of Recent Health Care Reform Developments
"The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will rule on several questions concerning the legality of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, it will address the following [four] issues . . . ." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

AHIP and BCBSA File Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court
"AHIP and BCBSA today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court stating that certain insurance market reforms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are inextricably linked to the law's personal coverage requirement and have to be severed from the ACA if the Court finds the coverage requirement unconstitutional. The brief supports reversal of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' severability judgment which struck down the personal coverage requirement but maintained all of the insurance market reforms that were enacted as companions to the coverage requirement." (AHIP)

Guidance Provided on Electronic Health Record Incentives
"[M]edical providers must comply with standards for use of the technology and properly account for the incentive payments in an area where accounting principles are in an infant stage. [Last] week, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) published an issue analysis to provide clarity on accounting for incentive payments received under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health . . . Act." (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

Proof That Giving Your Employees More Freedom Makes Them More Productive
"Best Buy was one of the first Fortune 500s to create a flexible work-schedule program for its corporate employees. Tech companies have been doing this for a while, and for good reason: these programs work." (Business Insider, Inc.)

Michigan Governor Denies Domestic Partnership Benefits in Signing Bill
"Although the bill is said to save money, researchers have found that usage of the insurance of domestic partners was a mere one percent of the national health care budget. Unlike married couples, domestic couples also pay taxes on their insurance and by denying them, the state is actually losing money." (The Eastern Echo)

New Year Means New Health Insurance Laws for Connecticut
"The beginning of 2012 ushered in seven new requirements for health insurance coverage provided by employers to Connecticut residents that proponents say will save lives and money in the long run." (The Day Publishing Company)

Cheaper Policies Bought in the Workplace Can Have Drawbacks
"[W]hereas traditional insurance is subject to state laws and disputes can be tried before juries, with the potential for punitive damage awards, policies sold through employers typically fall under [ERISA] — with a federal judge ruling on disputes and no damages allowed." (The Wall Street Journal)

CMS Issues Final Round of Health Plan Waivers
"The waivers, announced Friday on a CMS website, apply to health insurance policies — mostly for mini-med plans — offered to the workers of 1,231 employers." (modernhealthcare.com; free registration required)

Company Owners Scramble as Health Insurers Back Away from Small Biz Market
"They are facing a tumultuous market for health insurance, one in which prices continue to climb, plan designs are growing skimpier and skimpier, and there are fewer insurance companies to pick from." (Crain's New York Business)

Health Reform Reporting Rule Clarified
"The latest guidance also reiterates numerous provisions in last year's guidance, including that the cost of coverage that is taxable to employees, such as for a child older than 26, must be reported on the W-2. It also reiterates that contributions employees make to flexible spending accounts are to be excluded from the health care cost figure." (Business Insurance)

ACLU Challenges Michigan Domestic Partner Law
"The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down a new state law that bans many public entities from providing healthcare insurance to the domestic partners of their employees." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Team Lotteries Motivate Employees to Participate in Wellness Programs
"Now a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that group lotteries might increase employee participation in one component of wellness programs — filling out health risk assessment questionnaires." (Center for Advancing Health)

Justice Department, Lawmakers File SCOTUS Health Suit Briefs
"The Obama administration brief is the first of four that will be filed before the end of February." (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Brief for State Petitioners on Severability of Coverage Mandate Filed with U.S. Supreme Court (PDF)
"Question Presented: If the Affordable Care Act's mandate that virtually every individual obtain insurance exceeds Congress' enumerated powers, to what extent (if any) can the mandate be severed from the remainder of the Act?" (National Federation of Independent Business, et al., via The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Brief Filed with Supreme Court: Department of Health and Human Services, et al., Petitioners v. State of Florida, et al (PDF)
"The question presented is whether the minimum coverage provision [of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010] is a valid exercise of Congress's powers under Article I of the Constitution." (U.S. Department of Justice via The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

[Opinion]
City of Springfield, Illinois, Must Offer Benefits to Partners
"[Two professors] write to offer our interpretation of the legal status of civil union partners of city employees. . . . According to a State Journal-Register article from Dec. 20, the Joint Labor/Management Health Care Committee voted unanimously to not offer insurance benefits to civil union partners of city employees. According to the article, some city officials maintain that state law does not apply to the city's insurance scheme, given that the program is self-insured." (The State Journal-Register)

[Opinion]
What Price Pluralism in Health Insurance?
"Choice in the United States is expensive, because it requires prospective enrollees to do near-Talmudic studies of the fine print of each insurer's offerings — many times multiple distinct offerings per insurer." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions, 2011-2022
"For purposes of compiling this list, the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation considers a provision to be expiring if, at a statutorily specified date, the provision expires completely or reverts to the law in effect before the present-law version of the provision." (The Joint Committee on Taxation)

Generous Benefits, Recognition Energize and Retain Workers
"Employee retention is one of the best ways to keep your business running smoothly. The Society for Human Resource Management refers to retention as a key economic driver. 'It costs an organization a significant dollar amount whenever an existing employee must be replaced.'" (San Angelo Standard Times)

Press Releases



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