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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 24, 2010

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This webcast will examine the just-released grandfathered health plan regulations that determine whether health plans have to comply with the full scope of PPACA, or whether certain important provisions can be avoided. You'll learn the 12 main ways grandfathered status can be lost, special rules for collectively bargained plans and whether the law applies to retiree-only plans, dental, vision and more.

[Guidance Overview]
DOL 'Interpretation' of FMLA Rules Expands Protections for Non-Traditional Families
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor has issued an Administrator's Interpretation of the FMLA Regulation that includes 'in loco parentis' relationships as part of the FMLA's definition of 'son' or 'daughter'. [The document provides links within the text to source documents.]"
(Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Interprets the FMLA Broadly and Expands Leave Protections for Those Who Stand In Loco Parentis to a Child (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Interpretation departs from a literal reading of the regulation's conjunctive rule. Instead, it states that either day-to-day care or financial support may establish an in loco parentis relationship."
(Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Does It Pay to Remain 'Grandfathered'?
Excerpt: "The interim final rules say employer plans would no longer be grandfathered, for instance, were they to increase co-pays by more than $5 or the rate of medical inflation plus 15 percent (whichever is greater). Similarly, the plans would lose that status if the premiums being paid by the employer were to decrease by more than 5 percent."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

[Guidance Overview]
Interim Final Regulations Address Grandfathered Plans Under Health Reform
Excerpt: "Plan sponsors must retain and make available for inspection records documenting the terms of any plan or insurance coverage in effect on March 23, 2010, in order to verify grandfathered status."
(Holland & Hart LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Clarifies the FMLA's Definition of 'Son or Daughter'
Excerpt: "The Administrator's Interpretation states that 'where an employer has questions about whether an employee's relationship to a child is covered under FMLA, the employer may require the employee to provide reasonable documentation or [a] statement of the family relationship."
(Gray Plant Mooty)

[Guidance Overview]
Guidance Relating to Grandfathered Health Plans Under Health Reform Law (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "BUCK COMMENT. The regulations do not specifically address an employer contribution strategy under which an employer pays a percentage of the lowest cost plan or a salary-based contribution strategy. Nor do they address whether changes to tier structures or wellness incentives would affect grandfathering."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
New Regulations Address Assorted Health Care Reform Topics
Excerpt: "The regulations make several significant clarifications, including: A 'rescission' is defined to be the retroactive discontinuance of coverage. The rules do not apply to prospective terminations. Retroactive termination for the failure to pay premiums timely will be permitted. At least 30 days' advance written notice must be provided for a rescission (even though the effect will be retroactive)."
(Ballard Spahr LLP)

$2 Billion in COBRA Subsidy Benefits Paid in 2009, According to Report
Excerpt: "The report, which for the most part uses data collected from Form 941, emphasizes that because many health benefit plans cover spouses and dependents, subsidized coverage for two million households translates into coverage for substantially more than two million individuals."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Health Care Reform: A Survey of What Employers Are Considering (PDF)
Excerpt: "The survey offers benchmarks of how employers are responding to a host of health care reform challenges with particular emphasis on immediate considerations and approaches for complying with the new law."
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans via International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists)

ERIC Urges Fair Process In Administering Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
Excerpt: "ERIC's letter expresses concern with the approach to reimbursement specified in the interim final regulation because such a method could result in much of the $5 billion available for the program being allocated to only a few large funds."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Federal Health Care Site Coming July 1
Excerpt: "A federal government website that starts July 1 takes a step in that direction. The site, for the first time, will give consumers a list of all private and government health care plans for individuals and small businesses in their areas."

An employer writes:

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
The Accounting and Economics of Executive Stock Options: Fair Value vs. Compensation Value (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This article addresses another frequent practice that contributes to common misperceptions of ESOs: interpreting the Fair Value reported for accounting purposes as the compensation value executives derive from ESOs."
(Buck Consultants)

Press Releases

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Plan Administrator
for MVP Plan Administrators, Inc.
in NC

Benefits Compliance
for National Financial Partners
in TX

Regional Director, ES-1801
for U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration
in MA

Retirement Education Specialist
for MassMutual Financial Group
in IA, MN, WI

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