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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 22, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Health Care Reform: The Retiree Reinsurance Program (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This issue of Health Care Reform Insights summarizes the key provisions of the retiree reinsurance program: Group health plan eligibility, Retiree eligibility, Retiree expenses eligible for reinsurance program, Process to obtain the reinsurance, Chronic and high-cost condition programs required, Plan use of funds, Annual audits required, and Appeals and fraud protection. This issue of Health Care Reform Insights also highlights open issues. It concludes with a list of action steps for sponsors of health plans that cover early retirees."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
COBRA Subsidy Extended Through May 2010 (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "For the third time, the COBRA premium subsidy program has been extended, this time through May 31, 2010, under the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (Act). The key provisions of the Act include: The extension of the eligibility period for the COBRA subsidy through May 31, 2010. A new special election period and related notice requirement for individuals who experience a qualifying event that is related to a termination of employment on or after April 1, 2010, and before April 15, 2010."
(Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Dependent Coverage Requirements under Health Reform
Excerpt: "Although the Affordable Care Act requires that group health plans and health issuers that cover dependent children do so 'until the child turns 26 years of age,' this provision does not affect the income tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits under the Internal Revenue Code. In a separate change made by the Health Care Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Sec. 1004(d)(1)), the tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits has been extended to include any adult child 'who as of the end of the taxable year has not attained age 27,' regardless of whether or not the dependent is a full-time student, disabled, or married."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Prohibition on Rescinding Coverage Under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "So what's included in Sec. 1001 of the Affordable Care Act, concerning the prohibition on rescinding coverage? The guaranteed renewability of health insurance coverage provisions of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) are expanded to expressly prohibit group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual coverage from rescinding coverage of an enrollee once the enrollee is covered, except where an individual has performed an act or practice constituting fraud or has made an intentional misrepresentation of material fact as prohibited under the terms of the plan or coverage."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Health Care Reform Update, April 21, 2010
Excerpt: "[The target page links to] a revised chart that summarizes key provisions of PPACA, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 ('Reconciliation Bill') that was subsequently enacted on March 30, 2010. The attached chart summarizes PPACA's provisions with respect to the following areas: Insurance Market Reforms; Employer Responsibility; Exchange; Individual Responsibility; and Revenue Raisers."
(Groom Law Group)

Employer Responsibility under Health Reform
Excerpt: "The employer responsibility requirement is designed to strengthen the system of employer-sponsored insurance, which is the primary source of health coverage for nonelderly Americans. It encourages firms that now offer health insurance to continue doing so, and it encourages firms that do not offer coverage to start. Covering as many people as possible through employer-sponsored insurance will hold down the cost of health reform to taxpayers."
(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Health Information Technology: The Road to 'Meaningful Use'
The table of contents for the April 2010 issue which concentrates on electronic technology use in health care.
(Health Affairs)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

Hearing on H.R. 4855, Work-Life Balance Award Act
Excerpt: "The legislation, authored by subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and committee chairman Rep. George Miller (D-CA), recognizes on an annual basis exemplary employers that provide their employees the ability to achieve a work-life balance through the creation of a Work-Life Balance Award within the Department of Labor. A bipartisan advisory board representing both private and public employees, labor and family advocates will develop the award's criteria."
(U.S. House Committee on Education & Labor, Workforce Protections Subcommittee)

Health Care Legislation Attacks Executive Compensation by Insurance Companies
Excerpt: "As we feared it would . . . , Section 9014 of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' . . . modifies Code Section 162(m) to impose inexplicable limits on the compensation of insurance company employees."
(Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Webcasts and Conferences

Changes in 2010 and 2011 for Employer-Sponsored Plans: Health Care Reform Drill Down
Nationwide on June 3, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Health Care Reform: What Corporate Employers Need to Know - Tactically and Strategically
Nationwide on May 6, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

OTC Restrictions, Health FSA Limits, and Simple Plans: Health Care Reform Drill Down
Nationwide on May 27, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Weight Loss at the Workplace - Legal Issues For Employers Seeking To Reduce Healthcare Costs
Nationwide on May 11, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Press Releases

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