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June 3, 2010

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[Official Guidance]
HHS Releases Draft Application for Early Retiree Claims
Excerpt: "Information that employers will have to provide, according to the draft application, includes an estimate of how much they expect to receive in reimbursement during a two-year period and the programs employers have in place to reduce the cost of chronic and high-cost conditions, which are defined as a condition for which $15,000 or more in health care claims are likely to be incurred by one plan participant. In addition, plan sponsors have to provide information on how they plan to use the reimbursement."
(Business Insurance)

[Official Guidance]
Connecticut Expands State Mini-COBRA Healthcare Continuation to 30 Months
Excerpt: "This change applies to both small employers (with under 20 employees) and large employers (with 20 or more employees)."

[Guidance Overview]
Court Agrees with DOL that 'Mooning' by Employee Was Not 'Gross Misconduct'; COBRA Benefits Upheld
Excerpt: "In its determination letter to [the employer], the DOL told the employer that 'gross misconduct' generally must be something that would rise to the level of a felony or something that might lead to criminal charges."

[Guidance Overview]
Overview of 'Grandfathered Plans' Issues (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "A related question will be whether or not states may change state laws governing grandfathered plans, and if so, whether compliance with these changes would cause plans to lose their grandfathered status. These questions are likely to be resolved during the regulatory process by [HHS]."
(National Association of Insurance Commissioners)

Evidence That Consumers Are Skeptical About Evidence-Based Health Care
Excerpt: "Few consumers understood terms such as 'medical evidence' or 'quality guidelines.' Most believed that more care meant higher-quality, better care. The gaps in knowledge and misconceptions point to serious challenges in engaging consumers in evidence-based decision making."
(Health Affairs)

Federal Retiree Health Claims Program Leader Named
Excerpt: "Richard Popper, a former Maryland health insurance official, has been named to run a federal program created by the health insurance reform law that will provide claims reimbursement to employers that offer early retiree health insurance coverage."
(Business Insurance)

HR Takes on Health Claim Help Responsibility
Excerpt: "The majority of human resources professionals recently polled agreed with the notion that they have a professional responsibility to help employees sort out problems with their health insurance."

Administration Urges High Court to Leave SF Health Law Ruling Alone
Excerpt: "The Obama administration has reversed course in a long-running legal battle over a controversial San Francisco law requiring city employers to pay a minimum amount for worker health care plans."

Examining the New Long-Term Care Federal Entitlement Program
Excerpt: "Employers who choose to participate have the option to automatically enroll their employees and to deduct the premiums from their paychecks. Individual employees will be allowed to opt out, and those who work for nonparticipating employers will have the option to enroll individually."
(National Center for Policy Analysis)

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Webcasts and Conferences

Ethics: What ERPAs and Pension Administrators Need To Know
Nationwide on July 22, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Ethics: What ERPAs and Pension Administrators Need To Know
Nationwide on September 1, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Ethics: What ERPAs and Pension Administrators Need To Know
Nationwide on December 1, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Strategic and Tactical Action Plan Creation Workshop
Nationwide on October 7, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Press Releases

Social Security Averages 40% of Income of Elderly
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

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