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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 16, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Under New Health Care Regulations . . . No More Cost Sharing for Evidence-Based Preventive Services
Excerpt: "For plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover preventive services that have strong scientific evidence of their health benefits."
(Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Clarification of Mental Health Parity Requirement
Excerpt: "The DOL's FAQ states that it will not take enforcement action against a plan or issuer that divides benefits furnished on an outpatient basis into two sub-classifications for purposes of applying the financial requirement and treatment limitation rules."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Is It Really Advantageous to Maintain a Grandfathered Group Health Plan?
Excerpt: "It is important to remember that grandfathered status does not eliminate all of the Act's requirements and it only delays the application of some of the Act's requirements until grandfathered status is lost."
(Haynes and Boone, LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
CMS Updates Mandatory Reporting User Guide: Requires Reporting of 'Linked' HRA Coverage and Makes Other Changes
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: For many ['responsible reporting entities'], elimination of the exception for 'linked' HRA coverage will simply require the addition of new information to their reports. RREs who handled only linked HRAs, however, must now register and prepare to report (or find an agent to report for them)."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Guidance Overview]
HITECH Act Proposed Rules Would Modify HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Requirements
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: There is a tremendous amount of detail contained in these proposed rules -- some of the modifications are not specifically under the HITECH Act but, according to HHS, are designed to 'eliminate ambiguities in the rules and/or make them more workable and effective.'"
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Checklist for Open Enrollment Under Health Reform
Excerpt: "[T]o help you ensure you communicate anything and everything, Mercer's developed a list of what you'll want to do and say before enrollment season kicks off this fall -- and surely before many PPACA provisions take effect for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23 (for most plans, Jan. 1, 2011)."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

A Small Employer's Guide to Health Reform (PDF)
The 8-page brochure details what small businesses need to know on how health care reform affects their business.
(Small Business Council of America)

Wellness & Health Care Reform: The Battle for Both Cost Containment and a Healthier Workforce
Excerpt: "Employers need to plan ahead to reap the benefits from new wellness incentives. It's not a cure-all, but health care reform attempts to hold down rising costs in coming years through several provisions that make workplace wellness programs more affordable and attractive to both employers and employees."
(Ceridian Corporation)

Health Lobbyists Focus on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Excerpt: "Under the new law, the task force could become a political lightning rod. If it doesn't recommend a service, insurers might not pay for it, and advocates might argue the decision is a barrier to care. If the panel does back a service, it might increase patients' access, as well as create new business opportunities."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

Health Care Reform's No-Rescission Rule and COBRA: Do They Conflict?
Excerpt: "On June 28, 2010, the federal agencies that interpret the Act's mandates issued an interim final rule . . . explaining how the no-rescission rule works. This guidance raises the possibility that the no-rescission rule overrides certain fundamental COBRA principles. Plan administrators need to consider the implications of this no-rescission rule in planning for COBRA administration."
(Thompson Publishing Group Inc.)

The nation's workforce and health care system are constantly evolving and so are the legal issues. Law Journal Press helps you handle any benefits law question with up-to-date, authoritative books on all aspects of the field. Get legal and practical advice from leading experts on everything from COBRA to ERISA, "contingent" employees to family and medical leave, and more. Browse our product listings for detailed information and special offers.
Sponsored by ALM

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Wall Street Reform Will Require Companies to Adopt a Specific Compensation Clawback Policy
Excerpt: "[The Act adds a new Section,] entitled 'Recovery of Erroneously Awarded Compensation Policy,' to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This new section requires the SEC to direct the national securities exchanges and associations to prohibit the listing of any security of an issuer that does not develop and implement a clawback policy."
(Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

The Financial Reform Legislation's Impact on Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "The act requires a non-binding shareholder vote on executive compensation at least once every three years."
(McGuireWoods LLP)

The Accounting and Economics of Executive Stock Options: Assessing their Role in Executive Compensation (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[A recommendation for full value awards such as Restricted Stock Units . . . in lieu of ESOs might be made] because they would expose executives to the same profits and losses as shareholders. While it is easy to see the emotional appeal of such statements, they need to be re-examined based on economic principles and in-depth case studies of historical events."
(Buck Consultants)

Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance Provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act
Excerpt: "These provisions will dramatically affect public reporting companies and their relationships with shareholders. Many of the provisions are to be implemented by requiring the national securities exchanges and associations to modify listing standards to capture the requirements."
(Ballard Spahr LLP)

Flexible Work Arrangements May Hinder the Climb Up the Corporate Ladder
Excerpt: "Corporate America has been marching toward nontraditional work arrangements for some time -- last year alone, 21% of companies introduced flextime. Improved (and cheaper) technology is one big driver, and the recession has proven to be another. Options such as remote work, part-time, and customized schedules are 'a very inexpensive way to reward someone,' . . . ."

Illness-Related Work Absences During Flu Season (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The level of absence due to a worker's own illness, injury, or medical appointment was higher in the winter of 2007-08 than at any other period covered in this analysis, reaching a high of 3.3 million in February 2008."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

National Compensation Survey: Health and Retirement Plan Provisions in Private Industry in the United States, 2009 (PDF)
135 pages. Excerpt: "This bulletin of detailed health and retirement provisions will begin including basic health, defined benefit, and defined contribution tables each year. In addition, each year additional tables for a specific benefit will also be included. For example, this year additional defined contribution retirement tables in private industry are included."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employee Ownership Update for July 15, 2010
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the following: is a useful Web site that ranks defined contribution plans. People often ask how many U.S. companies fall into the 'sweet spot' for ESOPs, and there are many of them. The NCEO is cosponsoring the Ownership Thinking conference, to be held in the Denver area in September.
(National Center for Employee Ownership)

Webcasts and Conferences

"401(b) Plan Design Workshop" - Dallas
in Texas on August 13, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"403(b) Plan Design Workshop" - Atlanta
in Georgia on August 12, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Cross-Tested/Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Design Workshop" - Atlanta
in Georgia on August 11, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Cross-Tested/Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Design Workshop" - Dallas
in Texas on August 12, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

Summer IRA and HSA Webinars
Nationwide on July 20, 2010
presented by Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Press Releases

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Associate Account Manager - Compliance Focus
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting
in NY

DC/401(k) Administrator
for Gelman Pension Consulting, Inc.
in NY

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