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The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program: 'First Come-First Served!'
Excerpt: "Once applications become available, post-retirement health plan sponsors will need to scramble to submit them to the Department of Health and Human Services ('HHS') if they want to participate in the temporary early retiree reinsurance program. Funds for the program are limited and applications will be processed in the order received subject to a cut-off when funds run out."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)
Ninth Circuit Upholds Ban of Discretionary Clauses
Excerpt: "For fully insured plans, this is another indication that state regulations banning discretionary clauses will survive ERISA preemption challenge. Bear in mind that these regulations, in states adopting them (often based upon the NAIC model act) will apply to disability plans as well as health plans. The consequence will be de novo review of claim denials with augmented discovery in many cases."
(Roy Harmon via Health Plan Law)
Many Firms Could Be Hit in the Future by Cadillac Health Plan Tax, According to Study
Excerpt: "Benefit consultant Towers Watson & Co. of New York estimates that in 2010 the average cost for single coverage will be $5,184 and family coverage will cost $14,988. If costs increase at an 8% annual clip, more than 60% of the employer plans Towers Watson analyzed would be hit by the tax in 2018, the consultant estimates."
Employer's Guide to Self Funded Health Care Plans
Excerpt: "Most self-funded or self insured employers want flexibility in making key decisions on benefits, administration and funding, yet need to limit their liability. Partial Self Funding or Self Insurance with Stop Loss Coverage for employer group health insurance is an attractive alternative to the fully insured market for cost conscious employers."
(Self Funding Conference)
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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General
IRS Issues Final Rule on Qualified Non-Personal Use Vehicles
Excerpt: "The IRS has added an item to the list of government-owned vehicles public employees may use for personal purposes occasionally without triggering the need to keep records of business vs. personal use. Effective May 19, the IRS will recognize 'clearly marked public safety officer vehicles' as qualified nonpersonal vehicles that enjoy an exemption . . . of the regulations, regardless of whether the employee using them is a fire or police department employee."
(Thompson Hine LLP)
Recouping Executive Pay: The Rise in Popularity of Clawbacks
Excerpt: "Clawbacks are being endorsed by shareholders and legislators as significant corporate governance tools to deter management from taking actions that could potentially harm the company's financial position; the objective is to eliminate - or, failing that, at least recapture - undeserved payouts to executives."
10 Trends That Are Changing the Shape of Workplace Benefits
Excerpt: "[E]stablishing and maintaining benefit programs that are competitive and distinctive requires an awareness of trends in the marketplace, in the population, in the legislative and regulatory worlds, and in the needs of the workers you hope to attract and retain. While product development and enhancements certainly can play a role, there are also the overarching issues that drive and shape those developments."
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