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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 8, 2010

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The Department of Health and Human Services recently published regulations explaining how plan sponsors may apply for the early retiree reinsurance program in the Affordable Care Act. The upcoming webcast, Early Retiree Reinsurance Program: Information You Need Now to Apply, will discuss the new regulations and focus on what plan sponsors need to do to participate.
Register now to attend this webcast on Thursday, June 10.

[Guidance Overview]
Simple Cafeteria Plans Boon for Small Employers
Excerpt: "In years beginning after Dec. 31, 2010, certain small employers' cafeteria plans can qualify as simple cafeteria plans and thus avoid the nondiscrimination requirements of a classic cafeteria plan under IRC Sec. 125(b)."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Changes in Part D Gap Coverage Add Burden, Confusion for Health Plans
Excerpt: "The consensus among industry stakeholders is that the new 50% Medicare Part D coverage-gap discount on brand-name drugs is confusing for all involved."
(AIS Health.com)

Offering Health Care Could Prove Even More Costly for Employers
Excerpt: "A clause in the new healthcare-reform law will penalize employers if their coverage is deemed unaffordable for all of its workers. Even though fines won't start until 2014, it seems there will be no way for companies to discover their employees can't afford coverage until the company starts being fined by the government. Experts offer some options and advice."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Claims Appeals Process under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "A group health plan and a health insurer must implement an effective process for appeals of coverage determinations and claims. This appeals process must include, at a minimum, the following . . . ."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Most Employers Will Wait to Cover Adult Children, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Among the 501 large employers responding to a Hewitt Associates Inc. survey, 77% said they will wait until the effective date before offering the coverage."
(Business Insurance)

Health Care Reform: Impact on Employer-Sponsored Plans Begins to Emerge
Excerpt: "This Perspective reviews some of the issues emerging as employers decide how to move forward with compliance."
(Mercer LLC)

Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting for Health Reimbursement Arrangements Clarified
Excerpt: "Generally, employers don't file with CMS, but must give information to insurers and TPAs. Reporting will help CMS identify which Medicare-covered individuals have group health plan coverage that should pay claims primary to Medicare."
(Mercer LLC)

Doctors Tack on Fees for Patients
Excerpt: "A growing number of doctors across the country are boosting revenue by asking patients to pay new fees for services they say insurance doesn't cover, insurance and physicians' groups say."
(USA TODAY)

U.S. Defends Health Reform Against Lawsuits in Michigan, Virginia
Excerpt: "The administration said the mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance coverage or face a tax penalty is not only an integral part of the reform law, but also falls well within Congress' powers to regulate areas impacting interstate commerce -- in this case, health care."
(American Medical Association)




Register now for the 2010 SPARK National Conference, June 13-15 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. Join the top marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals at the retirement services industry’s leading educational and networking event. Gain insights into the latest business, marketing and sales strategies. Get updates on current market trends, regulatory and legislative issues. Attend sessions designed for TPAs, Financial Advisors and RIAs. Network with peers and earn Continuing Education Credits.

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Supreme Court Resolves ERISA Fee Dispute, Answering Some Questions and Raising Others
Excerpt: "Hardt will clearly change the law in those circuits that had imposed a prevailing-party requirement on parties seeking a fee award in ERISA cases. The decision may also influence other significant issues impacting attorney's fee awards, but as to these issues the Court's guidance is much less clear."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Briefing on Deferred Compensation of Expatriate / International Employees
17 slides.
(American Benefits Council)

Some Benefits Extended to Same-S.ex Partners of Federal Employees
Excerpt: "G.ay and les.bian federal employees' same-s.ex domestic partners and their children are now eligible for child care, employee assistance, credit union membership and other benefits heterose.xual employees' families now receive. And beginning July 1, federal employees and retirees will be able to add their same-s.ex partners to their long-term care insurance policies."
(Army Times Publishing Co.)

Washington-Baltimore Area Benefits Survey: Part-Timers Getting More Perks
Excerpt: "Employers in the Washington-Baltimore region offered part-time workers better perks this year, such as paid days off, in lieu of creating full-time positions, according to an annual survey of human resources officials to be released [today]."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

Pols Turning on Labor Unions Over Benefit Costs
Excerpt: "Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits."
(Capitol News Company LLC)


Webcasts and Conferences

ASPPA Webcast - Business Structures Today: Can't Tell The Players Without A Scorecard!
Nationwide on June 15, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ASPPA Webcast - How to Survive an IRS 403(b) Plan Audit
Nationwide on June 29, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ASPPA Webcast - Investments 101 for Retirement Plan Consultants and Administrators
Nationwide on July 14, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ASPPA Webcast - Update on EFAST2 and Form 5500
Nationwide on June 24, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

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

Free ASPPA Webcast for Advisors: Watch Out for Washington!
Nationwide on June 22, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)


Press Releases

PBGC Takes Responsibility for the Blumenthal Print Works Pension Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

US Labor Department Sponsors Free Webcasts to Help Retirement Plan Fiduciaries Comply with the Law
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

ASPPA Expands Outreach to Investment Professionals
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

CAPTRUST Opens Dallas Office
CAPTRUST Financial Advisors


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