Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
December 29, 2009

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HIPAA Privacy After HITECH: E-learning and Book Bundle Save up to 20%!

HIPAA Privacy After HITECH: E-learning and Book Bundle  Save up to 20%!

Employers and business associates must be in compliance with the new HIPAA regulations by February 17, 2010.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is offering a special HIPAA package to help you learn more about the new regulations. The package contains a HIPAA e-learning course and HITECH compliance manual.
Take advantage of this special offer now and save up to 20%!.

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

[Guidance Overview]
U.S. Health Care Reform May Lead to an Unexpected One-Time Charge to P&L for Lost Tax Benefits (PDF)

1 page. Excerpt: "A change in the tax deduction for prescription drug benefits would reduce the deferred tax asset recorded by employers that provide qualified prescription drug coverage to their retirees -- with a corresponding charge to tax expense (P&L)." (Towers Perrin)

[Guidance Overview]
Implementing Procedures to Comply with New Self-Reporting and Excise Tax Payment Requirements for Certain Health Plan Violations

Excerpt: "If a violation of one of the requirements described . . . occurs, the applicable employer generally will be required to report that violation on IRS Form 8928 and will be required to pay the applicable excise taxes. If a COBRA health coverage continuation requirement is involved, the applicable third party administrator or insurer could be responsible for filing Form 8928 and paying the applicable excise taxes. If a violation occurs with respect to a multiemployer plan, the plan will be responsible for filing Form 8928 and paying the applicable excise taxes." (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

Why the Cadillac Tax on Health Plans Isn't Really a Tax
Excerpt: "Now MIT economist Jonathan Gruber is telling us in a Washington Post op-ed the Cadillac tax is no tax at all, 'it is the elimination of an existing tax break.'" (National Public Radio)

Government Benefit for Uninsured Fails to Cover Rising Cost of Health Insurance Premiums
Excerpt: "[T]he program is eluding many people in need. That is because it is tied to the narrow parameters of [COBRA], the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, which President Ronald Reagan signed into law to help people cope during layoffs." (The Wall Street Journal)

Two-Thirds of Employees Haven't Taken All Their Vacation This Year
Excerpt: "Vacation time is an earned employee benefit and has a direct impact on work/life balance and general health and wellness. Pent up fears about job security and pressure to do more in streamlined operations may have been behind many skipping vacation time." (Sun Herald)

Health Care Reform: The Stage Is Now Set for a Joint House-Senate Conference Committee (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Recapping the final version of the Senate bill. The Senate-approved version of H.R. 3590 incorporated a 383-page Managers Amendment introduced by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) that modified the existing 2,074-page Senate bill. Key revenue raisers and employer- and employee-facing provisions include . . . ." (Towers Perrin)

Employers Unsure What to Do Following Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "According to new research from MetLife, 83% of employers report paying close attention to health care legislation developments. However, many of today's employers (41%) aren't sure what they will do regarding medical benefits should legislation pass, a press release said." (

Who Will Gain Financial Benefits from ICD-10 Implementation? (PDF)
5 pages. ICD-10 is The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision. (Milliman)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Reporting of Stock and Option Awards in the Summary Compensation and Other Tables under SEC's New Executive Compensation Disclosure and Governance Rules

Excerpt: "The SEC considered several specific changes in connection with the reporting of stock and option awards in the Summary Compensation Table ('SCT'), Director Compensation Table ('DCT') and the Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table." (Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Former Comverse Executives to Pay $62M to Settle Suits on Alleged Stock Option Backdating
Excerpt: "Former executives of Comverse Technology Inc. will pay $62 million to partially fund a class action settlement stemming from alleged stock option backdating. Most of the money will come from the voicemail software maker's former CEO, who fled the country to avoid prosecution in the backdating scheme." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Qwest to Cut Retirees' Pension Death Benefits, Worth $220 Million
Excerpt: "As many as 27,000 retirees are eligible for the death benefit, which pays beneficiaries an amount equivalent to the retiree's last annual salary with the company. Qwest couldn't say how many are actually in line to receive the payout." (The Denver Post)

Webcasts and Conferences

ERPA-Special Enrollment Examination Registration Deadline
Nationwide on January 5, 2010
presented by AIRE, LLC (American Institute of Retirement Education)

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Benefit Education Specialist - Remote - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
for Municipal Employees' Retirement System of Michigan
in MI

Sr. Pension Administrator
for Benefits Integrity

Service Delivery Analyst (Non Qualified Benefit Administration)
for McCamish Systems - An Infosys Company
in GA

401(k) / Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for R.J.L. Pension Services, Inc.
in FL

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