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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 12, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
HHS Issues Interim Final Regulations on Temporary Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
Excerpt: "The Program will begin on June 1, 2010. However, employers will be able to apply for plan years beginning before June 1, 2010 and ending after that date (e.g., calendar year 2010 plans)."
(Deloitte via

[Guidance Overview]
Preparing for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program: A Checklist (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Given the temporary nature of the Program, and the inherent uncertainty regarding most corporate transactions, the notice, mandatory assignment, and 'claw back' requirements may be significant for employers, particularly those anticipating asset-based transactions."
(Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
HHS Regulations on Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Claims cannot be submitted until the sponsor's application has been approved and the plan and sponsor 'certified' by HHS."
(Dow Lohnes PLLC)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Clarification of Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Health Coverage for Adult Children
Excerpt: "[T]he Notice clarifies that health coverage under an employer plan is excludable under Code section 106, and reimbursements for health care from a Health Savings Account (HSA) are excludable 'under the same rules' as apply for purposes of Code section 106 and 105(b), if provided for a non-Code section 152 dependent child under age 27."
(Ivins, Phillips & Barker Chartered)

[Guidance Overview]
Employers Should Prepare Immediately for Early Retiree Reinsurance Program under PPACA
Excerpt: "HHS will provide applications in June 2010 by which sponsors can apply to participate in the Program. Only if the sponsor applies and its plan is 'certified' by HHS can the sponsor seek reimbursement under the Program."
(Ivins, Phillips & Barker Chartered)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Discusses Whether Amounts Paid for Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Services Are Medical Care Expenses
Excerpt: "Because cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat disease, expenses for banking cord blood to treat an existing or imminently probable disease may qualify as medical care expenses. In contrast, banking cord blood as a precaution to treat a disease that might possibly develop in the future would not qualify . . . ."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Health Coverage for Children to Age 26: Interim Final Regulations
Excerpt: "It is clear that a child under age 26 who is receiving COBRA coverage under his or her parent's plan must be afforded an opportunity to enroll as a dependent of his or her parent under the Regulations' transitional rule. However, it is not clear whether a child under age 26 who is receiving COBRA coverage under his or her former employer's plan or spouse's employer's plan must be given the same enrollment opportunity under a grandfathered plan for pre-2014 years."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

White House Obesity Plan Mixes Recommendations with Stronger Regulation Proposals
Excerpt: "The White House is calling on food makers to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children . . . . One in every three children ages 2-19 is overweight or obese, the report says."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Standards for Summary Health Plan Documents under Health Care Reform Law
Excerpt: "Within 12 months after enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, [HHS] has been ordered to develop standards that can be used by group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual coverage in providing benefits summaries and coverage explanations that accurately explain the benefits and coverage provided under the plan."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Workers Paid About 7.4% More for Health Care in 2009, According to Survey
Excerpt: "The increase translates to about $506 more that workers contributed to their care . . . ."
( via Yahoo! Finance)

The Dental Coverage Value and Transparency Act of 2010 (H.R. 5000) Introduced in House
Excerpt: "This legislation amends [ERISA] to implement legislative changes intended to ensure transparency and dental benefit plan efficiency. "
(Academy of General Dentistry)

IRS Chart of Average Small Group Market Premiums for Calculating Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for 2010
Excerpt: "For taxable years beginning before 2014, the maximum small business health insurance tax credit is 35% (25% for tax-exempt eligible small employers) of the lesser of (1) the employer's nonelective contributions toward certain employees' health insurance premiums, and (2) the nonelective contributions the employer would have made if each such employee had been enrolled in a plan with a premium equal to the average small group market premium in the employer's State."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]
What Should Be On 2010-11 Guidance Priority List? IRS Wants to Know (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he Guidance Priority List [is used] each year to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance."
(Internal Revenue Service)

Federal Government's Office of Personnel Management's Workplace Flexibility Program Will Start in June
Excerpt: ". . . [N]early 400 OPM employees from a range of job functions will be permitted to work wherever and whenever they choose as long as their work gets done."

Webcasts and Conferences

23rd Annual Flexible Benefits Administrators' Symposium
in California on August 4, 2010
presented by Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC)

Advanced Roth IRA Conversion Issues and Strategies Webcast
Nationwide on May 13, 2010
presented by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business

After the Fall: The Role of Investment Advice in Retirement Recovery
in California on May 20, 2010
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Compliance Basics and More Workshop
in Alabama on June 10, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

How to Amend 401(k) Plans to Increase Employees' Retirement Income
in Maryland on June 3, 2010
presented by Worldwide Employee Benefits Network -- Baltimore chapter

Northeast Area Benefits Conference
in Massachusetts on July 12, 2010
presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Northeast Area Benefits Conference
in New York on July 13, 2010
presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Press Releases

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401k Guide Reporter
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