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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 29, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
What's the Fuss with Losing Grandfathered Status?
Excerpt: " After analyzing the additional costs of compliance with the provisions of PPACA that are applicable to non-grandfathered plans, plan sponsors should weigh those costs against the benefits of the proposed plan design change."
(Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Guidance on Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual Limits, Rescissions and Patient Protections
Excerpt: "Observation: The regulations do not provide a definition of essential health benefits, but instead refer to regulations that have not yet been issued. According to the preamble to these regulations, for plan years beginning before the future regulations defining the term 'essential health benefits' are issued, the Departments will take into account a good faith effort to comply with a reasonable interpretation of the term for enforcement purposes, as long as the good faith interpretation is applied consistently."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Small Employer Health Insurance Cost Tax Credit (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "A taxable employer treats the credit as a general business credit, claims it on the employer's tax return, and offsets its tax liability for the taxable year by the amount of the credit. The credit can be used to reduce estimated tax payments for the year and, in some cases, the employer's alternative minimum tax liability."
(Holme Roberts & Owen LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Employees with No Legal or Biological Ties to a Child Still May Qualify for FMLA
Excerpt: "Interpretation No. 2010-3 thus clarifies the definition of 'son or daughter' under FMLA Sec. 101(12) as it applies to an employee standing 'in loco parentis' to a child."
(Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview]
What Will Health Reform Mean for HRAs, HSAs, and FSAs?
Some changes to those account-based plans will be effective January 1, 2011.
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Interim Final Regs for Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual Limits, Rescissions, and Patient Protections Under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "[A table in the target page] contains a brief description of each regulation, its effective date, and its application to grandfathered group health plans."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

'Healthy San Francisco' Law Clears Supreme Court Hurdle
Excerpt: "After four years, San Francisco on Monday won its legal battle to provide health care for all its residents when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a business group's challenge to the Healthy San Francisco program."
(San Francisco Chronicle)

Supreme Court Denies Request to Review Federal Appellate Court Ruling Backing San Francisco Health Care Spending Law
Excerpt: "The high court made the move without comment that effectively lets stand the decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the matter of the San Francisco statute requiring companies with 100 workers or more to spend $1.96 per hour per covered employee on health coverage."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

Office Visit Copays Show Variance by Industry in New National Health Benefits 2010 Data
Excerpt: "According to the data, transportation and financial services employees are paying more for office visit copays than those employees in the manufacturing, services and wholesale industries."
(Business Wire)

Health Insurance Benefits Protection for Employees with Disabilities: The Role of FMLA
Excerpt: "This paper reviews earlier research with respect to how important a role health insurance continuation under the FMLA is for employees with disabilities."
(Urban Institute)

Using Data Mining to Improve Employee Health and Reduce Employer Costs
Excerpt: "Skilled health care analysts can use data mining to help plan sponsors uncover problems and focus on areas for improvement."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

Reexamining Prescription Drug Benefits in Light of Recent Developments
Excerpt: "In response to recent developments in the prescription drug industry, employers may want to consider taking the following actions with respect to their prescription drug coverage: Revise PBM contracts in light of uncertainty in drug pricing and the composition of pharmacy networks."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

More Benefits Are Available to Domestic Partners of Federal Employees
Excerpt: "In June 2009, the President asked the heads of executive departments and agencies to review the benefits they offered to determine whether any could be extended to same-s.ex domestic partners. After reviewing the submitted reports, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recommended that all the identified benefits be extended. On June 2, 2010, the President issued a Memorandum directing immediate action to extend the benefits and ordered the OPM to issue guidance."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Part-Time Workers to Get Help on Health Insurance Later
Excerpt: "Starting in 2014, the state-based exchanges, designed to help people find affordable health insurance, will offer a choice of subsidized health plans with different levels of coverage for part-timers and others who don't get insurance through their jobs."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

The Employee Health Care Mindset: Views, Behaviors, and Solutions
Excerpt: "The consumer survey explored employees' and dependents' interactions with their employer-sponsored health benefit plans, and tested behavior change concepts that can be compared with employer efforts to promote health and productivity within the workforce."
(Hewitt Associates)




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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Banking Regulatory Agencies Issue Final Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The Agencies' final guidance covers all banking organizations under their supervision (approximately 8,000 in total) and is to be applied to incentive compensation arrangements for three categories of 'covered employees' . . . ."
(Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

2010 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey Results (PDF)
88 pages. Excerpt: "According to this research, the majority of HR professionals indicated that their organizations have been negatively affected by the U.S. and global economic recession."
(Society of Human Resource Management)


Webcasts and Conferences

5500 Software Review and Update
Nationwide on June 30, 2010
presented by ftwilliam.com

Abandoned Plan Program Workshop
in Pennsylvania on July 12, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Abandoned Plan Program Workshop
in Maryland on July 13, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

COBRA Compliance Workshop
in Utah on July 13, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Under ERISA Workshop
in Utah on July 13, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
in Pennsylvania on July 12, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


Press Releases


Click to post your job on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

VP, Institutional Investments
for Prudential
in CT

Account Manager
for The BENECON Group, Inc.
in PA

Retirement Plan Sales Consultant
for A leading National TPA
in PA

Senior Compliance Manager
for The Capital Group Companies
in CA

Actuary, Retirement and Defined Benefits
for Aon Consulting
in PA

Full-time Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for Tax Favored Benefits, Inc.
in KS




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