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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 6, 2010

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World Congress is proud to present the World Congress 5th Annual Executive Forum on Pharmacy Benefit Management Strategies, July 12-13, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA. This year's forum identifies pertinent issues facing employers and plans, including developing Medication Therapy Management, overcoming barriers to diverse population drug challenges, Medicare Part D, changes to pharmacy in light of health reform and measuring the impact and effectiveness of existing pharmacy management programs.
Sponsored by World Congress

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Issues Model Notices on Coverage to Age 26 Requirement, Lifetime Limits, and Patient Protections
Excerpt: "The DOL has issued model notices for three of the new health care reform requirements that take effect for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 (i.e., January 1, 2011 for calendar-year plans): (1) extension of dependent coverage to age 26; (2) prohibition on lifetime limits; and (3) certain patient protections."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Guidance Overview]
HHS Announces Opening of Retiree Reinsurance Program, Posts New Guidance on HHS Website to Assist Applicants
Excerpt: "In an apparent attempt to reassure sponsors that they will not be locked out of the program because their applications are not filed immediately, the FAQs repeatedly state that all qualified applications will be accepted. While HHS retains the right to discontinue accepting applications if it appears that program funding is insufficient, the FAQs suggest that the Secretary will not stop accepting applications unless the program funding is actually spent before the program expires."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Guidance Overview]
More Guidance on Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Dollar Limits, Rescissions and Patient Protections (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "As a practical matter, plan sponsors may wish to provide the notice [of the elimination of lifetime dollar limits] as part of their regular open enrollment process, along with the similar required notice for adult child coverage . . . . However, they will have to make certain that employees who previously reached (or had a family member who reached) the lifetime limit and are currently not enrolled become aware that the limits have been removed and that they should consider reenrollment."
(Buck Consultants)

Obama and Supreme Court Might Be On Collision Course Over Healthcare Reform
Excerpt: "Already, the healthcare overhaul law, Obama's signal achievement, is under attack in the courts. Republican attorneys general from 20 states have sued, insisting the law and its mandate to buy health insurance exceed Congress' power and trample on states' rights."
(Los Angeles Times)

Health Insurers May Soon Offer Contraceptives at No Extra Cost
Excerpt: "Starting this fall, the health-care overhaul will require new health plans to begin providing a range of preventive health services at no cost to patients. Many people, including women's health advocates and some employer groups, think contraception should be one of the required free services."
(Washington Post; free registration required)

Health Care Reform Explained by AARP
Excerpt: "We own a small business and can't afford health insurance for our part-time employees. Will health care reform make things even tougher by making us pay for their health coverage?"
(AARP)

Complexities Abound in HIPAA Interactions Between Law Enforcement and Covered Entities
Excerpt: "Meeting with law enforcement agencies is an effective way to educate them on HIPAA and smooth over misunderstandings."
(AIS Health.com)

How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010
Excerpt: "Adult obesity rates increased in 28 states in the past year, and declined only in the District of Columbia (D.C.), according to . . . a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)."
(Trust for America's Health)

[Opinion]
The Health-Related Tax Provisions of PPACA and HCERA: Contingent, Complex, Incremental and Lacking Cost Controls
Excerpt: "While Republicans and Democrats alike portray the adoption of PPACA and HCERA as a pivotal moment in American life, we Americans are fated to conduct a prolonged -- indeed, an indefinite -- debate about health care and its costs."
(Prof. Edward A. Zelinsky, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law)




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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Final Regs on Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirements; Disclosure Requirements With Respect to Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions; Requirement of Return and Time for Filing (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "This document contains final regulations that provide guidance under section 4965 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), relating to entity-level and manager-level excise taxes with respect to prohibited tax shelter transactions to which tax-exempt entities are parties . . . . "
(Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Final Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies Applicable to Banking Organizations (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "The agencies responsible for supervising banking organizations have issued final guidance on sound incentive compensation policies to assist banking organizations in designing and implementing incentive compensation arrangements that effectively consider potential risks and risk outcomes. The final guidance retains the same key principles as in proposed guidance issued in October 2009, but includes clarifications to address issues raised by commenters."
(Buck Consultants)

Disappearing Perk: Employee Stock Options
Excerpt: "Last year, a little more than three-quarters of the companies in the S&P 1500, which tracks small- and mid-cap stocks as well as the conventional S&P 500 index, relied upon stock options to pay their CEOs. Compare that to five years prior, when that figure stood at nearly 93%."
(CNNMoney.com)

Links to Online Federal Employee Benefits Calculators
Includes links to calculators for the various federal retirement plans, the Thrift Savings Plan, the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance program, and the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.
(Washington Post; free registration required)


Webcasts and Conferences

Health Care Reform Update: Grandfathered Plans Webinar
Nationwide on July 14, 2010
presented by Warner Norcross & Judd LLP


Press Releases

US Labor Department Adopts Amendment to Class Exemption Involving Qualified Professional Asset Managers
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


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