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May 23, 2008

Here are the Web's best new links about compliance and cost aspects of plan operation, design and policy.


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[Guidance Overview] Updated Employer's Guide to the 2006 Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act
Excerpt: "This version of the guide is updated to include the following items: Division of Insurance Notice 2008-02 (Requirements for Disclosure of Minimum Creditable Coverage); Department of Revenue TIR 07-16 (Personal Income Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Coverage for an Employee's Child); and Chapter 205 of the Acts of 2007, Section 40 (relating to Young Adult products)." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo P.C.)


[Guidance Overview] President Signs Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Into Law
Excerpt: "President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (H.R.493) into law on May 21, 2008. The Senate approved the act by a vote of 95-0 on April 24, and the legislation cleared the House by a vote of 414-1 on May 1. The legislative goal is to ensure that people do not avoid genetic testing or counseling because they fear later health or employment discrimination." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


[Guidance Overview] Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Becomes the Law
Excerpt: "Since GINA is a new statute reacting to prevent possible future genetic discrimination (as opposed to a current, actual problem of discrimination), employers and group health plans are sure to have questions about GINA's requirements, implications and applications." (Troutman Sanders LLP)


[Guidance Overview] Genetic Antidiscrimination Law Creates New Compliance Challenges for Employers
Excerpt: "Intended to encourage Americans to take advantage of advances in the genetic sciences without fear of adverse consequences, GINA provides broad protections in employment and health benefits against the improper collection, use or disclosure of employees' genetic information. Although GINA does not become effective until November 21, 2009, employers should immediately begin taking steps to ensure compliance with the Act." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)


[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated May 21, 2008, for Health and Welfare Plans (PDF)
13 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans. (Hewitt Associates)


[Guidance Overview] President Bush Signs the New Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Into Law (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "In terms of a practical response to GINA, employers need to make adjustments to their policies and practices. Employers should take precautions to insure that they do not inadvertently request or receive genetic information about their employees." (Dechert LLP)


[Guidance Overview] Defense Department Releases Proposed Rules on TRICARE Supplements and Other Prohibited Financial Incentives
Excerpt: "This issue summarizes proposed rules from the Defense Departmentconcerning incentives not to enroll or to terminate enrollment in a group health plan in favor of coverage under TRICARE, the military health program." (The Segal Group, Inc.)


[Guidance Overview] The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Civil Rights or Science Fiction?
Excerpt: "The GINA is far-reaching in that it amends or touches upon many laws including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)." (Labor & Employment Law Blog)


Baby Boomer Perceptions About Disability Income Protection - Summary of Findings
Excerpt: "The majority of baby boomers (56 percent) say that it is extremely, very or fairly important to protect their household income should they or the primary wage earner in their home face a disabling accident or injury, and one in ten (11 percent) say that it is extremely important. However, one in five (19 percent) say that protecting their income with private disability insurance is not at all important." (Harris Interactive Inc. via America's Health Insurance Plans)


Evidence-Based Health Care Payment Test Sites Chosen
Excerpt: "Two cities have been selected as test sites for a health care payment model based entirely on evidence-based medical guidelines. The payment model was developed by experts in health care economics, law, policy, health plan operations and performance measurement." (Workforce Management; free registration required)


A Roadmap for America's Future
Excerpt: "The proposal described in this report has three objectives: To Fulfill the Mission of Health and Retirement Security for All Americans. To Lift the Burden of Debt Facing Future Generations. To Ensure American Jobs and Competitiveness in a 21st Century Economy." (A Roadmap for America's Future)


Summary of Health Care Reform Proposal - A Roadmap for America's Future (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "A Roadmap for America's Future is a plan that draws on America's strengths to restore our long-held legacy of leaving the next generation better off. It does this by achieving three key objectives: Health and Retirement Security. Ensures universal access to health insurance; rescues and strengthens Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security allowing them to fulfill their missions and making them permanently solvent. Lift the Debt Burden. Returns Federal spending growth to sustainable levels, and lifts the massive projected debt burden from the shoulders of future generations. American Jobs & Competitiveness. Promotes solid, sustained economic growth and job creation here in America, and puts the U.S. in a position to lead not merely survive in the global marketplace." (Congressman Paul Ryan)


Health Plans Support Push from Employers for Early Alcohol Screening and Intervention
Excerpt: "[A pressing issue is identifying problem drinkers earlier] and getting them into treatment before their drinking becomes an addiction. The best way to do that, these plans contend, is through screening and brief intervention (SBI) services delivered in primary care offices, employee assistance programs (EAPs) and other settings." (AISHealth.com)


New Florida Health Care Law Includes Alternatives for Small Businesses
Excerpt: "The Miami Herald reports that the law includes two distinct phases: one based on a proposal by Crist for insurance companies to offer stripped-down health policies to individuals for a reduced price, and a second based on the proposal by West Miami House Speaker Marco Rubio to set up a public-private corporation that would act as a human resources department and a virtual marketplace for health plans for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Kaiser Fast Facts Provides Easy Access to the Latest Health Policy Facts and Data
Excerpt: "The Kaiser Family Foundation today launched 'Kaiser Fast Facts,' a new component of its kff.org Web site, featuring 'QuickTakes' and 'Kaiser Slides' two new tools providing direct access to facts, data and slides about the nation's health care system and programs, in an easy-to-use format." (Kaiser Family Foundation)



Sponsored by: ALM

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Complete Benefits Law Guidance from Law Journal Press

The nation's workforce and health care system are constantly evolving and so are the legal issues. Law Journal Press helps you handle any benefits law question with up-to-date, authoritative books on all aspects of the field. Get legal and practical advice from leading experts on everything from COBRA to ERISA, "contingent" employees to family and medical leave, and more. Browse our product listings for detailed information and special offers.

(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview] Severance Pay Can't Be Tied to Waiving FLSA Claims
Excerpt: "On April 30, a federal court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting SunTrust Banks Inc. from requiring employees to waive claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act as a condition of receiving severance benefits offered in connection with the bank 's work force reduction program." (Employment Law360 via Winston & Strawn LLP)


[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated May 21, 2008, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
10 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)


Long-Term Incentives and Golden Handcuffs in the People's Republic of China
Excerpt: "[The] globalization of Mainland China has brought more and more competition for top talent within the PRC placing a premium on how companies encourage the performance and loyalty of their key employees." (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)


2008 National Study of Employers (PDF)
44 pages. Excerpt: "Families and Work Institute's 2008 National Study of Employers (NSE) is the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of the practices, policies, programs and benefits provided by U.S employers to address the changing needs of today's workforce and workplace. Because this study was designed to build on the Institute's landmark 1998 Business Work-Life Study (BWLS), it is, therefore, able to provide trend data on changes that have occurred over the past ten years." (Families and Work Institute)


Veterans' Benefits Bill Wins Approval in Senate
Excerpt: "Twenty-five Republican senators broke with President Bush and voted Thursday for a major expansion of veterans' benefits as part of a bill to finance another year of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." (The New York Times; free registration required)




Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

The Defined Benefit Pension Plan End Game: Managing a Frozen DB Plan Through Its Last Life Stage
in Massachusetts on June 17, 2008
presented by Cassidy Retirement Group



Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Kaiser Family Foundation Creates New Online Tool Providing Easy Access to the Latest Health Policy Facts and Data
Kaiser Family Foundation

New Book: "Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge"
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Payroll Auditing Guidance for Multiemployer Plans Offered in New Book
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Continued Strong Shareowner Support in 2008 for Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation
Walden Asset Management

New Survey Shows High Economic Illiteracy Among Americans
Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy



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Senior Benefits Administrator
for Alpha & Omega Financial Management Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Retirement Compliance Testing Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA

Retirement Compliance Testing Manager
for Vanguard
in PA

Director of Compensation and Benefits
for HR Placement Group
in MA

Benefits Analyst - Pension Administration
for Ceridian
in FL, NJ

CRTFL - Customer Service Representative
for Citi
in ME




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