Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
January 6, 2010

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Nat'l Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE), Jan. 25-26, Clearwater Beach, FL

Nat'l Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE), Jan. 25-26, Clearwater Beach, FL

Sessions by: Caterpillar, Black & Decker, L.L. Bean, HSN, Mayo, JM Family, H-E-B, Palm Beach County, NIH, Creighton University, Lincoln Industries, City of Knoxville, State of Florida, Gulf Power/Southern Co., Broward County Schools, IAP Worldwide Services, Sarasota County, National Business Group on Health, Leapfrog Group, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Oak Ridge Nat’l Laboratory (DOE)...and more, including the Impact of Potential Health Reform Legislation. Best Value in Health Benefits Continuing Education (HBCE) - highest quality and modest registration: $275 - $345. SHRM and other CE credits.
www.HBCE.com Phone 941-484-1430 or Email: info@HBCE.com

Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE)


[Guidance Overview]
New York Health Continuation Coverage Extended to 36 Months (PDF)

5 pages. Excerpt: "New York State recently passed a law that extends continuation health coverage to 36 months. Thus, group insurance plans that are subject to New York insurance law will have to offer continuation coverage for a total of 36 months, even though under the Federal COBRA law continuation coverage on termination of employment would only be required for 18 months." (Charles C. Shulman, Esq.)


[Guidance Overview]
Eleventh Circuit Applies Supreme Court's Davila Test to Health Care Providers' 'Hybrid' Claims

Excerpt: "This recent 11th Circuit opinion applies the two-part analysis required under Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, 542 U.S. 200 (2004) to health care providers' allegations in a class action complaint. The now familiar Davila test requires two inquiries: (1) whether the plaintiff could have brought its claim under § 502(a); and (2) whether no other legal duty supports the plaintiff's claim. On the facts before it in this case, the Court held that several of the providers' claims were completely preempted under this test." (Roy Harmon III via Health Plan Law)


Waiting Periods Limits Under Health Reform
Excerpt: "Among the provisions included in the Senate's recently passed health reform bill is a limit on waiting periods for new employees to be able to enroll in a their employer's health benefits coverage." (Wolters Kluwer)


'Play-or-Pay' Insurance Reforms for Employers: Confusion and Inequity
Excerpt: "One prominent feature of the current health care reform bills is a 'play-or-pay' rule for employers: workers must receive part of their compensation in the form of employer-sponsored health insurance, or the company's payroll will be subjected to a tax penalty. Although the latter possibility is framed as a penalty on employers, it would almost surely be passed along as a levy on workers' wages. And although the 'play' option is usually described as involving employer 'contributions' toward insurance, this money, too, actually comes out of what would otherwise have been workers' wages. Rather than fostering transparency, the play-or-pay approach results in confusion about who is paying how much for what coverage -- and careful analysis indicates that this method would not address existing inequities and could add further inequities to our system." (The New England Journal of Medicine via)


Health Spending Growth at a Historic Low in 2008 (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "In 2008, U.S. health care spending growth slowed to 4.4 percent -- the slowest rate of growth over the past forty-eight years. The deceleration was broadly based for nearly all payers and health care goods and services, as growth in both price and nonprice factors slowed amid the recession." (Health Affairs)


Court Overturns Denial of Paralyzed Worker's Benefits
Excerpt: "An Aetna Life Insurance Co. diving accident investigation was insufficient to deny a paralyzed man benefits under an employee health policy's accidental death and personal loss provision, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday." (Business Insurance)


Trends and Innovations in Disability Income Insurance (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "These stories exemplify the impact that disability insurers are having in the lives of workers who have suffered debilitating illnesses and injuries. In addition to providing disability income benefits, disability insurers help employees with disabilities access the medical, behavioral health, and social services they need. Disability insurers also work with employers and supervisors to modify work environments and schedules so that workers can return to the jobs they love." (America's Health Insurance Plans)


Government to Approve Retiree Medical Captive Arrangement
Excerpt: "DOL's approval requires a lifetime guarantee of retiree medical benefits. If approved, this use of an employer captive to fund retiree medical benefits may spark the interest of other employers." (Mercer LLC)


[Opinion]
Kilpatrick Stockton Comments to Department of Labor Regarding the Interim Final GINA Rules (PDF)

5 pages. The letter requests that the definition of 'underwriting purposes' be revised. (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)




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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-6 Providing Voluntary Correction Program for 409A Document Failures; Revisions to 2008 Procedures for Certain Operational Failures (PDF)

86 pages. Excerpt: "This notice provides methods for taxpayers to voluntarily correct many types of failures to comply with the document requirements applicable under § 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to nonqualified deferred compensation plans and thereby avoid or reduce the current income inclusion and additional taxes under § 409A. This document correction program is intended to encourage taxpayers to review nonqualified deferred compensation plans to identify provisions that fail to comply with the requirements of § 409A and § 1.409A-1(c) of the Income Tax Regulations (a document failure), and to correct those plan provisions promptly, while also not providing an advantage to taxpayers participating in plans that initially fail to comply with § 409A over taxpayers participating in plans drafted in compliance with § 409A. . . . This notice also clarifies certain aspects of Notice 2008-113, which addresses certain failures of nonqualified deferred compensation plans to comply with § 409A in operation (operational failures) . . . ." (Internal Revenue Service)


[Guidance Overview]
New SEC Disclosures Rules: Reporting of Voting Results on Form 8-K

Excerpt: "The new rules make one important change to reporting requirements for Form 8-K. The rules transfer the requirement to disclose shareholder vote results from Forms 10-Q and 10-K to Form 8-K. New Item 5.07 to Form 8-K requires companies to disclose on the form the results of a shareholder vote and to file that information within four business days after the end of the meeting at which the vote was held." (Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)


[Guidance Overview]
Effects of the New Compensation and Corporate Governance Rules on the 2010 Proxy Season (PDF)

7 pages. Excerpt: "The adopting release provides that the new rules apply to any filings made on or after February 28, 2010, by companies with fiscal years ending after December 19, 2009. In addition, on December 22, 2009, the SEC Staff issued Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (CD&I's), which are available at http://sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/guidance/pdetinterp.htm and clarified the start date of these rules." (McDermott Will & Emery)


[Guidance Overview]
New Disclosure Rules for 2010 Proxy Season (PDF)

8 pages. Excerpt: "To facilitate companies' preparation for the upcoming 2010 proxy season, the Commission published the adopting release, including the text of the final rules, the same day it approved the rules." (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)


Overview of Agency Regulatory Agendas for 2010
Excerpt: "Always of interest are the priority items the key regulatory agencies - the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation - have targeted for completion in the coming months. IRS and DOL both are concerned with lifetime income from defined contribution plans, and with guidance under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The PBGC is focused on regulations concerning reportable events and statutory hybrid plans, among others." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)


Summary of Employment/Human Resources Legislation in the 111th Congress (PDF)
50 pages. Excerpt: "This is a summary of federal legislation currently pending that may be relevant to employers." (Buck Consultants)


EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits
Excerpt: "The EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits is maintained on-line and updated when new data is available. The date next to each chapter link indicates when data and/or links were last updated in that chapter. The EBRI Databook on Employee Benefits includes data from dozens of sources to provide a comprehensive analysis of how the employee benefits system works, who and what its various functions affect, and its relationship with the U.S. economy." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)


Applying for a Private Letter Ruling
Excerpt: "When a transaction requires greater certainty or when relief is sought for a difficult tax situation, applying to the IRS for a private letter ruling (PLR) can provide interpretation and application of law and regulation with respect to that taxpayer the Service will follow, within certain conditions and limitations." (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)


The Criminal Provisions of ERISA (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The federal criminal provisions that explicitly relate to employee benefit plans are codified in two places. Three provisions are included in the U.S. criminal code." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)



Webcasts and Conferences

"Happy Roth Year" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 27, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: 403(b) Plans
Nationwide on March 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on January 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Comparing Roth & Traditional IRAs
Nationwide on March 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Conducting Your Own Compliance Audit
Nationwide on February 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Conversions & Recharacterizations
Nationwide on March 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Establishing & Amending IRAs
Nationwide on March 30, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: HSA Basics
Nationwide on January 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: HSA Basics
Nationwide on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Individual(k) Plans
Nationwide on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to QRP Distributions
Nationwide on February 2, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Beneficiary Distributions
Nationwide on February 2, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Contributions
Nationwide on March 4, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Frontline Fundamentals - Part 1
Nationwide on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Frontline Fundamentals - Part 2
Nationwide on February 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Required Minimum Distributions
Nationwide on March 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: QRP Beneficiary Rollovers to Inherited IRAs
Nationwide on January 14, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: QRP Beneficiary Rollovers to Inherited IRAs
Nationwide on March 2, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Retirement Distribution & Income Planning
Nationwide on February 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: SEP Plans
Nationwide on February 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: SIMPLE Plans
Nationwide on March 16, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Understanding & Processing Transfers & Rollovers
Nationwide on March 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Withholding
Nationwide on February 4, 2010
presented by Ascensus

New SPARK Institute Best Practices for 403(b) Plans
Nationwide on January 27, 2010
presented by The SPARK Institute

The Team Agency Solution - HRO Solutions for Insurance Professionals
Nationwide on January 7, 2010
presented by Team Solution

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

Industry Veteran Joins ERISA Fiduciary Advisors, Inc.
ERISA Fiduciary Advisors, Inc.

Comperio Retirement Consulting Expands Into Pennsylvania
Comperio Retirement Consulting

Lincoln Trust Company Upgrades 401k Support
Lincoln Trust Company

(Click to post your press release)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

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for Chicago Suburban Pension Firm
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Project Manager
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in MA

401(k) Junior Plan Administrator
for Matthews Benefit Group Inc.
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Employee Benefits Associate – Temporary Position
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Employee Benefits Associate Attorney
for Thompson Hine LLP
in OH

Benefits Call Center Supervisor
for Maricopa County
in AZ

Sr Proposal Writer - RFP - Retirement Plans
for T Rowe Price
in MD

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