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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 30, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Regulations on Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions, Annual & Lifetime Limits, Rescission, & Patient Protections
Excerpt: "Most of the requirements apply to both insured and self-funded health plans for plan or policy years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 (January 1, 2011 for calendar year plans)."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
Departments Issue Core Health Reform Interim Regulations (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "The regulations reiterate that the requirements relating to preexisting condition exclusions, lifetime and annual limits, and rescissions apply to grandfathered group health plans (in certain cases, compliance is not required by grandfathered health plans that are individual health insurance coverage). The rules relating to patient protections, however, do not apply to grandfathered health plans."
(Alston & Bird LLP)

HHS Releases Application for Early Retiree Health Plan Reimbursements
On June 29, 2010, the Department published the official ERRP Program Application, official ERRP Application Instructions, and Application Submission Dos and Don'ts (including the address for submitting an application). Applications for the subsidy, as well as fact sheets about the program, are available at
(Business Insurance)

HHS Begins Accepting Applications for Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
Excerpt: "The program provides an 80 percent subsidy for retiree claims of between $15,000 and $90,000 . . . ."
(Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.)

Employers Deal with Effects on Employees of End-of-Life and Caregiver Issues
Excerpt: "[Pitney] Bowes now includes end-of-life and caregiver benefits in its wellness offering, with the idea that it wants to help employees consider planning for such terrible scenarios, like they would plan for their children's college tuition or for their own retirement."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Employers' Initial Reaction to Health Care Reform: Retiree Strategy Survey (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[S]ix out of ten employers intend to evaluate their long-term retiree medical benefits strategy in the near future, and nearly half of these companies have already begun the evaluation process."
(Hewitt Associates)

White House Proposes Plan to Protect Electronic Health Data, Other Information
Excerpt: "The plan, called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, calls for the creation of an 'identity ecosystem' to protect electronic data, such as health and financial information."
(California HealthCare Foundation)

Health Law Could Penalize Small Businesses With Part-Timer Employees
Excerpt: "Small companies will need to keep a close eye on how many part-timers they employ or may face hassles they hadn't bargained for. . . . [While small businesses with 50 or fewer workers are exempt from penalties, t]he 50-worker total is a combination of both full-time and 'full-time equivalent' workers, a figure that's arrived at by adding up part- timers' hours."
(National Public Radio)

An employer writes:

"I have to tell you that of all the job boards I've ever used, this one has the best quality of candidates. I don't get flooded with tons of resumes, and even the candidates who aren't fit for the jobs we have don't miss the mark by much."

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
ERISA Claims Review: A Tale of Two Cases
The article contrasts Conkright v. Frommert and MetLife v. Glenn to develop practical solutions for dealing with the current litigation climate in ERISA claims review. The article is reproduced with permission from Pension & Benefits Daily.
(Groom Law Group)

Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Provisions in Dodd-Frank Bill (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "[The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as approved by the House-Senate Conference Committee on June 25] reconciles competing versions of financial reform contained in bills passed by the House in December and the Senate in May."
(Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Executive Pay, Governance Reforms Heading to Final Votes As Part of Financial Regulatory Reform Agreement
Excerpt: "The bill would require nonbinding say-on-pay votes, mandatory clawback policies, and greater independence for compensation committees and their advisers. The legislation also would authorize the SEC to write proxy access rules."
(Mercer LLC)

Job Security and Benefits Top Contributors to Job Satisfaction
Excerpt: "According to the report, compensation/pay, a factor that has appeared on employees' top five list each year since the survey's inception, fell to fifth place for the first time."

Savings Rate Grows Faster Than Consumer Spending
Excerpt: "According to the Commerce Department, the personal savings rate in May -- the part of every paycheck that goes unspent -- rose to 4 percent, the highest amount in nearly a year . . . ."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

Webcasts and Conferences

"Power Struggle - New Power of Attorney Rules for 2848" Web Seminar
Nationwide on July 15, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

Smartcast Webinar -- Health Care Reform Update III
Nationwide on July 13, 2010
presented by FutureOffice Network

Press Releases

NIPA Announces 2010-2011 Officers and Directors
National Institute of Pension Administrators

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Retirement Advisor
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Defined Contribution Administrator
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in NY

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