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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 4, 2010

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Professionals across the U.S. are now charged with sorting through health care reform and complying with new health plan requirements. These must-have books provide comprehensive guidance and in-depth analysis of the new legislation. Choose from CCH’s Law, Explanation and Analysis (Volumes 1 & 2), RIA’s Complete Analysis of the Tax & Benefits Provisions and RIA’s Analysis of the Medicare, Medicaid & Other Health Care Provisions.

[Official Guidance]
Text of Integrated Version of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended by Reconciliation Bill (PDF)
907 pages. Excerpt: "This print is of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . . . consolidating the amendments made by title X of the Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 . . . . This document has been prepared by the House Office of the Legislative Counsel (HOLC) for the use of its attorneys and its clients; it is not an official document of the House of Representatives or its committees . . . ."
(U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Legislative Counsel)

[Official Guidance]
Text of Rev. Rul. 2010-13: Average Healthcare Premiums by State, for Small Group Market for Use in Determining Small Employer Health Insurance Credit (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Section 45R provides a Federal income tax credit to eligible small employers, including tax-exempt organizations, that make nonelective contributions towards their employees' health insurance premiums under an arrangement that meets certain requirements. . . . The following chart sets forth the average premium for the small group market in each State for the 2010 taxable year."
(Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Releases Average Premiums for Determining Small Business Health Care Credit
Excerpt: "The amount of the [tax] credit [in some cases] is based on a percentage of . . . the amount of nonelective contributions the employer would have paid under the arrangement if each such employee were enrolled in a plan that had a premium equal to the average premium for the small group market in the state (or in an area in the state) in which the employer is offering health insurance coverage. . . . [Rev. Rul. 2010-13] provides a table setting forth the average premium for the small group market in each state for the 2010 tax year . . . ."
(Journal of Accountancy)

[Guidance Overview]
The New Health Reform Law and Private Insurance
Excerpt: "[This recorded April 30 webcast] dealt with how the new health reform law affects access to private coverage. A range of specific provisions were covered, including the new federal high-risk pools, tax credits for small businesses, health insurance exchanges, the individual mandate, and employer obligations."
(Alliance for Health Reform)

[Guidance Overview]
Parsing the New Law on Long-Term Care
Excerpt: "The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, or Class Act, the first national plan to help the great majority of Americans who have no insurance for long-term care, became law in March."
(New York Times; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview]
(Corrected Link) Healthcare Reform Expands Nondiscrimination Requirements for Employer-Provided Health Insurance
Excerpt: "[This 3-page article] highlights these new rules and contrasts them with the existing nondiscrimination requirements that apply to self-insured health plans."

Obama Plans to Provide Businesses $5 Billion for Retiree Health
Excerpt: "President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak about the program today in Washington at an appearance before the Business Council and companies will be able to start tapping the funds on June 1, according to a statement provided by an administration official."
(Business Week)

Piece of President Obama's Health Plan to Launch, Benefiting Employers Who Offer Retiree Healthcare
Excerpt: "The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program would grant funding to employers if they insure recently retired people who do not yet qualify for Medicare. . . . Employers -- including private companies, local governments, nonprofits, unions or religious entities -- can apply for reimbursements of up 80 percent of claims costs for health benefits between $15,000 and $90,000."

$5 Billion Healthcare Subsidy Expected from Federal Government
The Obama administration is preparing to announce a large subsidy of $5 billion for employers to pay for the cost of retiree healthcare, according to an anonymous source who spoke to the Associated Press.
(AP via New York Times; free registration required)

Many Health Plans Not 'Affordable'
Excerpt: "Many companies could run afoul of the mandate to provide affordable health-care plans, says a new study [by Mercer]."

Jail Time for Hospital Employee for HIPAA Privacy Violation -- Snooping Celebrities' Medical Records
Excerpt: "[Mr. Huping Zhou] . . . accessed the UCLA patient records system 323 times, with most of the accesses involving well recognized celebrities."

How Genetic Testing May Spot Disease Risk
Excerpt: "The tests, now taking off at a number of leading research hospitals, remain controversial amid debate over whether the information they yield will lead to improved outcomes and justify the additional cost."
(Wall Street Journal)

Text of Comments on Interim Final Regs on Mental Health Parity, by Business Advocacy Groups (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "We recommend that the Agencies delay the applicability date of the Regulation until the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2012. The current applicability date of the Regulation for most plan sponsors is the first plan year beginning on or after July 1, 2010."
(American Benefits Council, National Retail Federation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

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Webcasts and Conferences

25th Annual National Institute on Compensation
in New York on November 4, 2010
presented by American Bar Association (ABA)

Health Care Reform: The Most Pressing Issues! Webcast
Nationwide on May 25, 2010
presented by American Bar Association (ABA)

How Health Reform Affects Employers and Employees
in California on May 12, 2010
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter

Lifetime Income Summit
in District of Columbia on May 19, 2010
presented by AARP, ASPPA and WISER

Press Releases

PBGC Issues Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2009
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

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in PA

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in MI

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for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc.
in TX

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