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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 19, 2010

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These one-day regional seminars will provide a quick and cost-effective way for jointly-managed plans to know what they need to do now in response to unfolding reform regulations. Included is an afternoon workshop addressing the early retiree subsidy application process. Two additional workshop options are also offered -- Multiemployer Perspectives and Public/Governmental Plan Perspectives.

[Official Guidance]
Text of Interim Final Regs for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers Relating to Coverage of Preventive Services (PDF)
35 pages. The regulations are effective on September 17, 2010.
(Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury; Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor; Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Department of Health and Human Services)

[Guidance Overview]
Required First Dollar Coverage for Preventive Services
Excerpt: "Specifically, the rules require coverage for four categories of preventive services: Services rated 'A' or 'B' by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF); Immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Preventive care and screenings for children as recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration; Preventive care and screenings for women as recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration."
(Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
New Guidance Issued Under Health Care Reform Legislation
Featured in this edition: Agencies Issue Guidance on Required Coverage for Preventive Health Care without Cost-Sharing, and, Agencies Issue Rules on Preexisting Condition Exclusions, Lifetime and Annual Limits, Recissions, and Patient Protections.
(Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

[Guidance Overview]
Employers May Limit No-Cost Preventive Services to In-Network Care Under Interim Health Reform Regulations
Excerpt: "A plan is not required to provide coverage for recommended preventive services delivered by an out-of-network provider if the plan utilizes provider networks."
(HR Policy Association)

[Guidance Overview]
COBRA Subsidy Has Expired for Now (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "Buck Comment. Although this is not new information, it reminds employers of the current state of the law. In addition to providing the statement by Borzi, the DOL reminded subscribers to its email alerts that the non-ARRA notices (both general and election notices) are posted to its website. These notices are the same as the notices that the DOL posted prior to ARRA, so employers can return to using them if they choose."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
Major Changes Looming for Business Associates and Subcontractors under Proposed HIPAA/HITECH Rules (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "Notably, the Proposed Rule expands the definition of 'business associates' and makes considerable changes to various provisions relating to the use and disclosure of protected health information (PHI) by covered entities and business associates."
(Alston & Bird LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Retirees' Bankrup.tcy Protection Act Trumps ERISA, 3rd Circuit Rules
Excerpt: "The 95-page decision from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in In re Visteon Corp. promises to alter the playing field in big corporate bankruptcies by mandating compliance with Section 1114 of the Retiree Benefits Bankrup.tcy Protection Act without exception."
(Law.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Retirees' Bankrup.tcy Protection Act Applies Over ERISA, According to Federal Appeals Court
Excerpt: "In a ruling that will apply to all types of retiree employee benefits, a federal appeals court has ruled that a corporation in bankrup.tcy may not terminate retiree health and life insurance plans unless the company can show that terminating a plan is a necessary part of its reorganization."
(John V. Tucker and Tucker & Ludin, P.A.)

No-Cost Preventive Care in New Insurance Plans
Excerpt: "The government estimates that the changes may increase insurance premiums by 1.5 percent on average, though people who have little or no coverage for preventive health services now would likely benefit from the reduction in out-of-pocket costs."
(Chicago Sun-Times)

Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act: How it Will Be Funded
Excerpt: "The PPACA and deficit reduction will be funded through new taxes, fees, and penalties on individuals, businesses, and the health care industry."
(Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd.)

DOL to Issue New Proposed FMLA Regulations by November
Excerpt: "The proposed regulations will provide guidance on two new provisions of the FMLA relating to military leave rights and leave for airlines' flight crews, which were signed into law last year: the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 and the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act."
(Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.)

Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Health Insurance Mandate As a Tax
Excerpt: "When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government's 'power to lay and collect taxes.'"
(The New York Times; free registration required)

Health Insurers Push Plans That Limit Choice of Doctor
Excerpt: "As the Obama administration begins to enact the new national health care law, the country's biggest insurers are promoting affordable plans with reduced premiums that require participants to use a narrower selection of doctors or hospitals."
(The New York Times; free registration required)

83% of Small Colorado Businesses Will Qualify for Health Reform Tax Credits, According to Report
Excerpt: "Consumer organization Families USA and advocacy group Small Business Majority, both based in Washington, D.C., analyzed all 50 states and broke down the number of beneficiaries of the newly enacted tax credits."
(Denver Business Journal via American City Business Journals, Inc.)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Document Correction Procedures for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "These correction procedures are available to sponsors of and participants in nonqualified defined benefit or defined contribution plans that provide for the deferral of compensation (section 409A plans), including section 457(f) plans."
(Prudential Retirement)

Financial Reform Bill Imposes New Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Requirements (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "While the Act is primarily focused on reform of business practices of financial institutions, the executive compensation provisions of the Act will apply, in whole or in part, to almost all publicly traded companies, with additional restrictions applicable only to financial institutions."
(Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Financial Reform Law Will Impact Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Practices (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "Under the new law, at least once every three years, shareholders of public companies will have to be given an opportunity to vote on the compensation of the company's named executive officers (NEOs)."
(Buck Consultants)

Retaliation for Internal Complaint Upheld in ERISA Sec. 510 Case
Excerpt: "The five appellate courts that have ruled on this issue have reached split decisions. The Fifth and Ninth Circuit courts have ruled that the employee is protected while the Second and Fourth Circuit courts now have been joined by the third circuit in ruling that Sec. 510 does not protect the employee from retaliation."
(Wolters Kluwer)


Webcasts and Conferences

"The New Service Provider Regs: The Wait Is Over" Web Seminar
Nationwide on August 10, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Law Briefing
in Indiana on November 10, 2010
presented by Ogletree Deakins


Press Releases

Agency Holding $197 Million in Unclaimed Private Sector Pensions
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

U.S. Labor Department Sues Savannah, Georgia, Attorney to Restore Pension Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


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