EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com logo BenefitsLink.com logo

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 30, 2012          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
         Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

401k Annuity Product Manager
for Futurity First Insurance Group in CT

Defined Benefit / Defined Contribution Pension Administrator
for Mercer Advisors in AZ

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Consulting Actuarial Group, Inc. in IL

Inside Sales Consultant
for Aspire Financial Services in CO

Investment Consulting Senior Manager
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in OH

Retirement Education Consultant
for Charles Schwab in TX

Retirement Client Service Team Manager
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in AZ

Post Your Job on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

Employee Plans Phone Forum on Hurricane Sandy
Nationwide on December 11, 2012 presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Skin in the Game: How Consumer-Directed Health Plans Can Affect the Cost and Use of Health Care Briefing
in District of Columbia on December 10, 2012 presented by RAND Corporation

Year End Wrap-up
in Ohio on December 13, 2012 presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland

View All Webcasts and Conferences


We also publish the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe

 

[Guidance Overview]

2013 Medicare Surtax: Taxing the Rich and the Haves (PDF)
"Effective [for tax years] after December 31, 2012, a Medicare Tax increase of 0.90% is set to become effective along with a new 3.8% Medicare Surtax to be levied on unearned or investment income for high income taxpayers... According to the Congressional Budget Office, the new tax is expected to add $318 billion to the federal revenue over the next 10 years." (Chao & Company, Ltd.)


[Advert.]

Real-World Solutions for Your Health, Benefits & Wellness Programs

Sponsored by Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

Hear what's working for senior executives at major employers including: American Express, Big Lots, Carlson, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comcast, H-E-B, Intel, Leviton, Microsoft, NextEra Energy, Walgreens and Yahoo! Limited-time registration offer going on now.


[Guidance Overview]

ACA Sets First-Time Health FSA Limit (PDF)
"Employers must amend their existing plan document to reflect this change on a prospective basis. Just to be clear, this new regulation does not limit or affect the amount permitted for reimbursements under other employer-provided coverage, such as (1) contributions to an FSA for dependent care assistance, (2) contributions to an FSA for adoption care assistance, (3) payment of an employee's share of health coverage premiums (i.e., premium conversion), (4) a health savings account (HSA), or (5) a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)." (Chao & Company, Ltd.)

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Regs Address ACA's Essential Health Benefits and Minimum Value Requirement (PDF)
"While employer-sponsored self-funded plans are not required to provide EHB, these plans still cannot impose lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of EHB that are covered under the plan. These proposed regulations will therefore require plan sponsors to understand the EHBbenchmark plans in each state in which the group health plan operates." (Trucker Huss)

Youngstown State University Limits Part-Time Hours To Avoid Obamacare Rule
"YSU, a public institution in eastern Ohio, announced to employees earlier this month that it is restricting part-time employees, including adjunct professors and lecturers, to 29 hours a week or less. Under the [ACA], the university will have to provide health insurance to full-time employees, classified as anyone working 30 hours or more per week. According to an email sent to English department employees ... anyone who violates the new hourly limit will be fired[.]" (The Huffington Post)

A Wrap Plan Can Be Helpful for Your Health & Welfare Benefits
"A recent district court decision in Ohio considered ... [an] AD&D plan booklet [that] did not grant discretion to the plan administrator or the insurance carrier to decide claims. However, the employer had adopted a wrap document that did contain such discretion. In addition, the summary plan description noted that the employer had discretion to decide claims. The court concluded that the wrap document and the plan booklet together constituted the plan document so the grant of discretion applied to the AD&D claim denial." (BenefitsNotes, a blog by Leonard, Street and Deinard)


[Advert.]

Executive Forum on Rewarding Healthy Behaviors - January 30-31, 2013 - San Diego

Sponsored by World Congress

The pre-eminent event for innovative workplace wellness and preventive health management initiatives designed to promote health behavior change within health insured populations. Evidence-based success strategies to contain healthcare costs.


More Workers Covered by Bosses' Self-Insured Plans
"As of 2011, more than half of U.S. employees were covered under these self-insured plans, compared to about 41 percent in 1998 ... Businesses with less than 50 employees have not followed the same trend, with only 10.8 percent of private sector enrollees in self-insured plans in 2011. The number has remained generally around 12 percent since 1998, according to EBRI." (Kaiser Health News)

Prescription Drug Prices Continue to Soar
"Brand-name drugs which cost $100 in January 2008 would now cost $163.08 in 2008 dollars; Generic drugs which cost $100 in January 2008 would now cost $60.96 in 2008 dollars; The trend in specialty drug prices (22.6 percent YTD) continues to outpace the trend of traditional drug prices (-0.6 percent YTD), and is primarily driven by cost increases; In the first nine months of 2012, specialty drug prices consumed 20.8 percent of PMPM pharmacy spend[.]" (America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP))

Supreme Court Faces Thorny Decision on ERISA Recovery Rights
"A victory by the health plan participant in US Airways v. McCutchen, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, may erode ERISA plans' ability to enforce plan terms as written ... [T]his case will be difficult for the Court to rule on for two reasons: (1) More exceptions to recoveries could hurt plan participants as well as plans.... (2) The case pits the common-fund doctrine against clear plan language." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

Launching a 'Winning' Wellness Contest
"As more employers emphasize and provide incentives to improve employee health and wellness, they are also looking for ways to increase employee buy-in for healthier lifestyles. Enter the workplace wellness contest. Whether the focus is on eating better, losing weight or moving around more, workplace wellness contests can create an atmosphere of excitement for things that many employees would rather avoid." (Society for Human Resource Management)

[Opinion]

'How-To' for De-Identification of Health Data is Good First Step, But More Work Needed
"Access to the vast amounts of health data increasingly available as the nation continues to roll out its all digital health information network will provide the opportunity for the kind of rigorous data analysis that is critical if the U.S. is to realize the promise of a lower cost, better quality health care system. It is just as critical that the privacy of the individuals from which that data is drawn is protected in a way that invokes trust in the system. This is where the new guidance comes into play." (Center for Democracy and Technology)

Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Health Care System
"Affordable Excellence examines how Singapore succeeded in its efforts, setting up a health system that has become one of the best in the world, delivering high quality care at a fraction of the cost of most First World systems. Ranked 6th globally on performance, Singapore spends less than 4% of GDP on health care (in contrast to the U.S., for example, which spends over 17% of GDP).... How did Singapore do it? What can be learned from its achievement?" (Brookings)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]

SEC Extension of Comment Period for Rule Changes Proposed by NSX Relating to Adoption of Listing Standards for Compensation Committees and Advisors (PDF)
"The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on October 17, 2012. The Commission received no comment letters on this proposal.... Accordingly, the Commission ... designates January 15, 2013, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove this proposed rule change." (Securities and Exchange Commission)

[Official Guidance]

SEC Extension of Comment Period for Rule Changes Proposed by CHX Relating to Adoption of Listing Standards for Compensation Committees and Advisors (PDF)
"The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on October 16, 2012. The Commission received no comment letters on this proposal. Accordingly, the Commission ... designates January 14, 2013, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove this proposed rule change." (Securities and Exchange Commission)

[Official Guidance]

SEC Extension of Comment Period for Rule Changes Proposed by 7 Listing Exchanges Relating to Adoption of Listing Standards for Compensation Committees and Advisors
"The proposed rule changes were published for comment in the Federal Register on October 15, 2012. The Commission received six comment letters on the NYSE proposed rule change, seven comment letters on the NASDAQ proposed rule change, and one comment letter on the NYSE Arca proposed rule change. The Commission received no other comment letters for any of the other Exchanges' proposed rule changes. Accordingly, the Commission ... designates January 13, 2013, as the date by which the Commission should either approve or disapprove or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove these proposed rule changes." [Applies to Rules proposed by BATS Exchange, Inc.; NASDAQ OMX BX Inc.; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; New York Stock Exchange LLC; NYSE Arca LLC; and NYSE MKT LLC.] (Securities and Exchange Commission)

Section 409A 'Release-Timing' and Other Year-End Compensation-Planning Issues
"In anticipation of widely expected increases in income, FICA and long-term capital gains tax rates starting in 2013, many companies are exploring ways to accelerate into 2012 income that would otherwise be recognized in 2013 or later, particularly for executives and other highly compensated employees. It is crucial that companies exploring acceleration of compensation keep the restrictions of Section 409A in mind." (McGuire Woods LLP)

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter for November 29, 2012
Covers employee benefit developments with an emphasis on governmental plans. Topics in this issue include: [1] Florida Appellate Court Extends "Catch-all" Provision of Pension Forfeiture Law; [2] Financial Risk Tolerance of Younger Households Rebounded From Crisis; [3] 2013 Standard Mileage Rates Up 1 Cent Per Mile for Business, Medical and Moving; and [4] High-yield Strategies Have Bordered on Spectacular -- So Far. (Cypen & Cypen)

The Wagner Law Group ERISA Newsletter, November 2012
Articles include: [1] IRS Releases 2013 Limits for Welfare Benefit Plans; [2] PPACA: What Should Employers Do Next? [3] IRS Issues Guidance on Salary Reduction Contribution Limits for Health FSA's; [4] IRS' New COBRA Audit Guidelines; [5] HIPAA Audit Protocols; and [5] Massachusetts Enacts Health Care Reform Legislation. (The Wagner Law Group via 401 (k) Advisor)

Press Releases

Plexus Financial Services Is Certified For Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX)

BenefitsLink.com, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

Lois Baker, J.D., President <loisbaker@benefitslink.com>
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher <davebaker@benefitslink.com>
Holly Horton, Business Manager <hollyhorton@benefitslink.com>

Copyright © 2012 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. but feel free to forward this newsletter if done without modification in any way.

All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Links to Web sites other than those owned by BenefitsLink.com, Inc. are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of BenefitsLink.com, Inc. was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

Useful links: