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October 23, 2012          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Compliance Manager - Retirement
for TRI-AD in ANY STATE

Associate Retirement Plan Administrator
for Harbridge Consulting Group (a BPAS Company) in NY

Enrolled Actuary
for Matthews Benefit Group, Inc in FL

Defined Benefit Calculation Analyst - ACG
for Diversified in MA

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
for Growing Westchester County NY Actuarial and Administration Firm in NY

Pension Administrator
for Total Benefit Services, Inc. in CA

Retirement Plan Administrative Assistant
for Total Benefit Services, Inc in CA

Retire Secure Employee Benefit Specialist
for Principal Financial Group in MA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Ethics Case Study
Nationwide on October 25, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Rehires, including HEART and USERRA
Nationwide on January 23, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.


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Health Care Costs Top U.S. Executives' Concerns; Hiring Decisions Affected
"U.S. corporate executives are more worried about providing healthcare benefits to their employees than about issues like wages, taxes or attracting qualified workers, according to a [recent] survey ... of senior executives[.] 55 percent named healthcare benefits as their biggest current business challenge, and about a third say they are holding back hiring because of healthcare reforms[.]" (Reuters)


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Many Employers Taking Wait-and-See Approach on ACA; Few Plan to Switch to Exchanges
"In preparation for the 2018 40% excise tax on high cost 'Cadillac' plans, 31% of employers indicated they plan to reduce their benefits in 2014-2016, with 41% responding they will do so for 2017-2018. Only 9% of employers indicated that they planned to participate in state health insurance exchanges when they begin in 2014-2016. While there is interest in private health insurance exchanges, at this time only 4% believe they will use these for active employee coverage in 2014-2016, while 11% indicated they will move toward private exchanges for post-65 retirees. For the next few years, there is little indication that employers plan to drop health care coverage and provide employees a set amount to buy health care coverage elsewhere." (Midwest Business Group on Health)

Recent Developments of Interest to Sponsors of Multiemployer Health Plans (PDF)
Contains developments of interest to sponsors of multiemployer health plans. Articles include: Trend and CPI; ACA and Compliance News; 2013 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey; What Multiemployer Health Funds are Doing to Manage Costs: Selected Strategies. (The Segal Group, Inc.)

Health Care Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries
"How much is good health care worth to you? $8,233 per year? That's how much the U.S. spends per person.... That figure is more than two-and-a-half times more than most developed nations in the world, including relatively rich European countries like France, Sweden and the United Kingdom. On a more global scale, it means U.S. health care costs now eat up 17.6 percent of GDP." (PBS)

ML Strategies Health Care Reform Update, Oct. 22, 2012 (PDF)
Weekly update on developments in federal and state health care reform legislation and regulations. Includes summaries of recent announcements and regulatory activity by HHS, CCIIO, IRS and CMS. (Mintz Levin)


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States Begin Defining Essential Health Benefits (PDF)
"Although the guidance allowing large-group health plans to use any of the HHS-authorized definitions of an EHB is welcome, this approach requires a plan sponsor to select from among the multiple available options. And it still isn't clear if employers with operations in multiple states can pick only one approach.... An open question is whether the HHS guidance means that even plans with limits such as day or visit limitations on EHBs need to modify their design to comply with the EHB requirements." (Buck Consultants)

The Challenges of Pricing Health Insurance for the 2014 Exchanges (PDF)
"Health actuaries are experts at building analytic models to account for multiple factors expected to affect future health care spending. Their job has grown more difficult of late, however, due to changes in a large number of important pricing factors introduced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) starting in 2014.... [This article describes] how actuaries price today and [identifies] some of the key risks introduced by the ACA, then discuss[es] the consequences for health plans and consumers if rates end up being set too high or too low." (National Institute for Health Care Management)

'Frequent Flyers' Are Not Abusing Hospital Emergency Departments
"Studies on emergency department patients in different parts of the country challenge the long-time misconception that so-called frequent flyers -- those who regularly end up in EDs -- are abusing their access to emergency care. Instead, a high proportion of these patients have chronic conditions and mental disorders and go to the ED because they don't have another readily accessible source of care." (American Medical Association)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

'Top 250' Report on Long-Term Incentive Grant Practices for Executives, 2012 Edition (PDF)
"Key findings ... include the following: (1) For the second consecutive year, stock options are outnumbered by long-term performance shares,... while the use of time-based restricted stock awards and long-term cash plans remains largely unchanged. (2) Stock options continue to decrease in prevalence ... but are not expected to go away ... (3) Two-thirds of companies use only one or two long-term incentive grant types, with stock options being the sole long-term incentive vehicle at only three percent of companies. (4) Use of TSR as a long-term performance measure increased by 18 percent, while revenue declined in popularity. (5) Vesting periods are split with about half of stock options and restricted stock awards granted with three year vesting periods, and half with vesting periods greater than three years." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Federal Court Applies Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Whistleblower Protection to Employee's Complaints About Qualified Pension Plan
"The [Connecticut District] Court concluded that Kramer had a 'reasonable belief' that the pension plan matters implicate federal securities laws.... '[I]n order to obtain the protections of section 1514A, the conduct at issue need not have actually constituted a violation of the SEC rules or regulations -- by the language of the whistleblower provision, the whistleblower need only have reasonably believed that it was a violation.'" [Kramer v. Trans-Lux Corp., No. 3:11-cv-01424-SRU (D. Conn. Sept. 25, 2012)] (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Press Releases

NBCH Hosts Annual Employer Benefits Conference
National Business Coalition on Health

Colorado Health Plan Ratings Released
Colorado Business Group on Health



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