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New Regulations for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Under the regulations, the parity requirements for financial requirements and treatment limitations apply separately to six 'classifications' of benefits. The six classifications are: Inpatient, In-Network; Inpatient, Out-of-Network; Outpatient, In-Network; Outpatient, Out-of-Network; Emergency Care; and Prescription Drugs."
Will Health Care Costs Bankrupt Aging Boomers?
Excerpt: "In 2040, half of adults age 65 and older will spend at least 19 percent of their incomes on health care, up from 10 percent in 2010, if costs grow at the intermediate rate projected by the Medicare trustees. About 7 in 10 older Americans in the bottom two-fifths of the income distribution will spend more than 20 percent of their incomes on health care in 2040. These projections underscore the importance of controlling health care costs and the need for boomers to plan for future health care spending."
Choice of Health Plan: Findings from the 2009 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (PDF)
Pages 2-9 of 20 pages. Excerpt: "Most employers do not offer a choice of health plan, but when they do, large firms are much more likely than small firms to offer a choice. Because a disproportionate share of those with employment-based health benefits are employed by a large firm, between 50 percent and 60 percent of the covered population has a choice of health plan."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Which Consumer-Driven Health Care Option Should You Choose: HSAs, FSAs, HRAs? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "As the satisfaction of consumer driven health plans has increased over the years, the interest has grown significantly. Unfortunately, many consumers and employers are confused about the differences between the various consumer driven plans and which option would be best for them. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) first prepared this analysis in 2002 and has updated it annually in an effort to help people make informed choices about consumer driven health plans."
(Council for Affordable Health Insurance)
State Health Care Reform Update
Excerpt: "[The] states have been leading the way toward more comprehensive health care coverage to ensure that more people have or can obtain health insurance. Because of the potential impact of this ongoing activity on employer-provided health insurance benefits, Spencer's Benefits Reports provides regular updates about state health care reform."
Cancer Prevention and Care Management: Employer Opportunities
Excerpt: "Cancer in both employed and retired populations is a major expense for employers in terms of medical and pharmacy costs, disability costs, lost productivity and diminished quality of life. This Perspective examines the shortfalls in cancer care and explains how employers can adopt best practice designs and medical management programs that support cancer detection and treatment, including working with vendors to ensure best practice management and utilizing centers of excellence whenever possible."
To Buy or Not to Buy Health Insurance Across State Lines
Excerpt: "Democrats prefer a highly regulated 'health insurance exchange,' a marketplace where consumers who don't have insurance through their employers could comparison-shop for policies. It would be a move towards universal coverage, which Republicans oppose. The reform bills also included a provision that would allow states to make insurance agreements among themselves. The plans some Republicans propose would simply allow residents of one state to buy insurance from companies in another state. For example, Minnesota could allow its residents to buy insurance from Texas companies, which are governed by Texas law."
(Minnesota Public Radio)
Executive Compensation; Benefits in General
New Military Leave Guidance Under the HEART Act
Excerpt: "The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act) requires employers to provide certain retirement and welfare benefits for returning military personnel and their beneficiaries. On January 20, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2010-15, which provides long-awaited guidance in the form of questions and answers on several HEART Act provisions, including survivor benefits, benefit accruals, differential pay and distributions."
(McDermott Will & Emery)
Correcting Deferred Compensation Plan Document Failures Under Code § 409A (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The new notice also gives an indication of how the IRS views various other § 409A interpretation issues. For example, it explains how a plan where benefits are payable only if the employee signs a release can operate without violating the § 409A payment timing requirements."
(Kelly. Hannaford & Battles P.A.)
Mercer Survey of 2010 Executive Pay Planning
Excerpt: "The unprecedented scrutiny of executive pay isn't letting up any time soon. This attention places more pressure than ever on decision makers to be responsive to stakeholder concerns and to understand the direction of current market practices. This Perspective presents results from Mercer's December 2009 survey of 2010 executive pay planning at more than 120 US organizations, including insights into survey findings on executive salary decisions, annual and long-term incentive program design and various hot-button compensation issues."
Navigating the Shifting Tax, and Retirement Living Costs, Landscape
Excerpt: "Retirement accounts, charitable gifts and taxes that older, high-income Americans face on Medicare are all in dispute on Capitol Hill. As long as Washington dithers on tax policy, higher-income individuals and people with most forms of investment income will find it difficult to plan their economic lives. Here is a look at the changing tax landscape, starting with little-known levies that can fall hard on higher-income retirees."
(The New York Times; free registration required)
Omaha, Nebraska, Police Benefits Healthier than Most
Excerpt: "Police receive about 15 days a year in sick days. If an officer stays healthy, he can eventually earn an extra week of vacation and accumulate a sick-leave bank that can be cashed out after 20 years for up to about 10 months' worth of pay. The average worker's sick-day benefits in Omaha are not as generous. Nor are those for state employees or state troopers. Sick days are just one provision in the Omaha police contract -- both the current and proposed contracts -- where benefits enjoyed by police exceed those found in the private sector and among state employees."
Microsoft Does a Benefits Tech Makeover
Excerpt: "In the face of rising costs, a maturing workforce and a wide range of benefit offerings, the company's HR delivery team viewed a unified employee benefits portal as critical to managing Microsoft's 100-percent-employer-paid health care benefits."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)
Labor Force Participation Rates: The Population Age 55 and Older, 2008 (PDF)
Pages 10-17 of 20 pages. Excerpt: "The Near Elderly And Elderly Are Staying In The Work Force Longer: The labor-force participation rate is increasing for those age 55 and older. The percentage of civilian noninstitutionalized Americans age 55 or older who were in the labor force declined from 34.6 percent 1975 to 29.4 percent in 1993. However, since 1993, the labor-force participation rate has steadily increased, reaching 39.4 percent in 2008 -- the highest level over the 1975-2008 period."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Ex-Benefits Administrator Charged in $40M Embezzlement Case
Excerpt: "The former administrator of a New York union benefits fund was indicted for embezzling $40 million to support a lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors in the case allege that the spending included $5 million for horses, $300,000 for women's clothes at Neiman Marcus and about $1 million for jewelry."
Webcasts and Conferences
403(b) Plan Audits
in Illinois on March 25, 2010
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Chicago
Nationwide on April 7, 2010
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership
Nationwide on April 1, 2010
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership
Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs
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