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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 26, 2010

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This timely Webcast will address the key elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related provisions of the Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. Three industry experts will present their views on key elements of health care reform legislation, timeline of required compliance dates, impact on stakeholders and plan design implications.

[Guidance Overview]
Key Issues for Large Employer Health Plan Sponsors From Senate-Passed Bill (H.R. 3590) as Revised
Extensive online chart; March 25, 2009. Includes column noting changes made by the just-passed reconciliation bill. PDF version is available at
(Miller & Chevalier)

[Guidance Overview]
Assessing the Impact of Federal Health Care Reform on Employers and Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans
Excerpt: "We have organized our analysis into the following three broad categories (recognizing that there is some overlap from category to category): [1] Requirements imposed directly on employers, including the pay-or-play or free rider surcharge and the services to be included in the basic benefit package [2] Requirements imposed on health insurance carriers, including insurance rules and mandates (e.g., guaranteed issue and renewability and bans on pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime limits) that, while directed at carriers, will have an important, indirect effect on employers [3] Other provisions likely to affect employers, such as the individual mandate, the role of health insurance exchanges, and financing issues."
(Mintz Levin)

[Guidance Overview]
Employer Group Health Plans Face Immediate Issues as Healthcare Reform Becomes Law
Excerpt: "The Healthcare Reform Law applies existing Internal Revenue Code section 105(h) self-insured plan nondiscrimination rules to insured health plans. This new requirement is effective for plan years beginning six months after enactment. This will make it much more difficult to offer insured health plans to a small group of executives."
(Morgan Lewis)

[Guidance Overview]
State Legislation Challenging Certain Health Reforms
Updated March 25, 2010.
(National Conference of State Legislatures)

[Guidance Overview]
Reconciliation Bill Passes, But Health Reform Battle Not Over for GOP
Excerpt: "After more than a year of healthcare reform proposals, debates, and deliberations, the House brought the process to a close shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday with a 220-207 vote approving the healthcare reconciliation package that had been sent over from the Senate six hours earlier. The bill (HR 4872) now proceeds to President Obama for his signature."

[Guidance Overview]
Health Reform Implementation Timeline
Excerpt: "With the enactment of comprehensive health reform, the Kaiser Family Foundation has prepared a timeline detailing when specific provisions of the legislation are scheduled to take effect. The implementation timeline reflects the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed on March 23, 2010, as well as provisions in the Health Care & Education Reconciliation Act passed by the House and Senate."
(Kaiser Family Foundation)

[Guidance Overview]
Health Care Reform 101: Major Provisions
Excerpt: "The following highlights key aspects of the PPACA, with particular focus on areas where the reconciliation bill, if passed, will change the current law."
(Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Fix COBRA, HIPAA and Other Group Health Plan Violations Quickly: Here's Why
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on employers who fail to comply with various federal mandates for group health plans like COBRA and HIPAA. . . . The IRS [has] issued final regulations for self-reporting (and paying) the excise tax for such violations and a new form (Form 8929) to use to self-report, starting this year."
(Miller Johnson)

[Guidance Overview]
Trouble Brewing for Employers as New York City Council Reintroduces Paid Sick Leave Law
Excerpt: "If passed, New York private-sector employers would join San Francisco, California, and Washington, D.C., employers and be mandated to provide employees a minimum number of paid sick days each year. The proposed bill's effect would be far reaching, affecting the lives of up to 1 million workers in the City."
(Jackson Lewis)

Congress Approves Reconciliation Bill
Excerpt: "Senate Republicans forced 41 votes to strip or alter provisions -- although Democrats won every one . . . ."
(Washington Post; free registration required)

Companies Confused by Health Legislation, According to Some Critics
Excerpt: "A number of small-business owners say they are uncertain as to what the health bill will mean for their ventures."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Tax Provisions - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Excerpt: "[The article] is a summary provided by the Journal of Accountancy of some of the major tax provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . . . ."

How the Health Care Bill Will Impact Individuals and Businesses
Excerpt: "The total impact to businesses is not definable, according to Deloitte Tax, but businesses will have to change in several significant ways. Businesses, for example, will not be required to provide health coverage but as of 2014, employers who have at least 50 full-time employees (defined as working 30 hours per week or more) and who don't provide health insurance will be assessed a penalty of $2,000 per employee per year."

Chart Shows Highlights of Imminent Health Care Reform Law and Possible Changes
Excerpt: "The [chart linked from the target page] addresses key employer provisions in the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (HR 3590), as passed by the House on March 21 and the Senate late last year . . . . The chart also highlights potential changes to PPACA contained in the budget reconciliation bill (HR 4872) . . . ."
(Mercer LLC)

Small Employers Confused by Healthcare Law
Excerpt: "Starting in 2014, organizations with more than 50 employees that don't offer affordable coverage will pay a penalty starting at $750 a year per full-time worker. . . . Smaller companies are exempt from the penalties, and some will receive a tax credit for providing health insurance -- as long as they have fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000 per employee. Some groups, such as the National Federation of Independent Business, are concerned that the legislation discourages businesses with fewer than 50 employees from expanding their payrolls."
(Wall Street Journal)

Healthcare Law Might Produce Unintended Consequences for Employer-Sponsored Plans
Excerpt: "[M]any larger businesses worry the measure will do relatively little to hold down their overall health-care costs, once a primary goal of the legislation, and could even force them up. Some big retailers could decide to cut back on the number of workers they hire and cover, business advocates said. Large corporations might decide within days to end coverage for their retirees' drug costs, because of a provision that takes away an existing federal subsidy."

Corporate America Weighs in on Costs of New Healthcare Law
Excerpt: "Deere & Co. and Caterpillar Inc. said they are expecting a combined $250 million in charges this year . . . . The charges relate to a provision in the legislation that will curb by 2013 federal subsidies provided to employers that offer prescription drug coverage to Medicare eligible retirees at least equal to Medicare Part D."
(Business Insurance)

The Growing Financial Burden of Health Care on Individuals
Excerpt: "The percentage of Americans facing high out-of-pocket health care expenses and insurance premiums continues to increase. In all income brackets, people with private insurance experienced an increase in their health care-related financial burden between 2004 and 2006, with the greatest increase occurring among middle- and higher-income individuals."
(The Commonwealth Fund)

Is Health Reform Unconstitutional? Don't Laugh
Excerpt: "President Obama's signature is barely dry on the health-care bill, but already the legal challenges have begun. Most of them strike me as pretty implausible, with one exception: the complaint that Congress lacks the authority to impose an individual mandate to buy health insurance. To be sure, this claim, too, is a long shot . . . . But let me explain why I don't think it's a total laugher."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

The World Congress 7th Annual World Health Care Congress | April 12 - 14, 2010 | Washington, DC
The MUST attend event for health care government and corporate leaders to formulate business strategies in a new era of reform and market competition!
Sponsored by World Congress

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
New Case Revives Hopes for Refunds of FICA Tax on RIF Severance Pay
Excerpt: "Employers who have made involuntary termination severance payments pursuant to a plan should consider filing protective refund claims. Time is of the essence for refunds of FICA taxes paid in 2006 because, in general, such claims must be filed no later than April 15, 2010. It should be noted, however, that the decision to file a claim may not be as clear cut as it was following the CSX trial court decision."
(Faegre & Benson)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Publishes New Terminal Charge and SIFL Rates for Noncommercial Flights on Employer-Owned Aircraft
Excerpt: "For flights taken during the period from January 1, 2010, through June 30, 2010, the terminal charge is $40.28, and the SIFL rates are: $.2204 per mile for the first 500 miles; $.1680 per mile 501 through 1,500 miles; and $.1615 per mile over 1,500 miles."
(Wolters Kluwer CCH Tax News Headlines)

Webcasts and Conferences

Back-to-Basics Series
Nationwide on April 8, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

ERISA Basics
in Illinois on May 19, 2010
presented by American Bar Association (ABA)

Health Care Reform Update
Nationwide on April 28, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Health Care Reform Update Webcast
Nationwide on April 8, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Obama's Healthcare Reform Bill: What it Means to Your Business Webcast
Nationwide on April 29, 2010
presented by Progressive Business Audio Conferences

Second Quarter Update
Nationwide on May 18, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Second Quarter Update
Nationwide on May 19, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

The NTSAA 403(b) Compliance Resolution Summit
in Illinois on May 10, 2010
presented by National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association

Top-Heavy Rules, Keys, Family Attribution, Bonding
Nationwide on March 31, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Press Releases

Statement of Assistant Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi on Health Care Reform
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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