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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 20, 2010

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No matter how benefits-savvy your employees may be, today’s health care environment can confuse the most sophisticated consumer. That’s why companies large and small use BeneCom for their benefits communication. We know benefits and we understand what employees need to know to make them work – for themselves and for you. And while we’re at it, we make your life a little easier, too.

For more information visit our site or call (860) 674-2626, Ext. 2001


[Guidance Overview]
Third Circuit Extends Protection to Non-Vested Retiree Benefits (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On July 13, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that section 1114 of title 11 of the United States Code applies to all retiree benefits, even those that the plan sponsor could have terminated outside of bankrup.tcy. In In re Visteon Corp., et al, the Third Circuit broke with the conclusion reached by most courts that have addressed the issue."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
Rules Clarify Office Visit Reimbursements for Preventive Care Services
2 pages. Excerpt: "Note: If final rules are not issued within three years, the IRS version of these interim regulations expires . . . . The DOL and OCIIO versions have no expiration date."
(Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview]
Guidance on Health Care Reform's Preventive Services Mandate
The target page provides links to a brief summary of the rules, full text of the final interim rules on preventive services, and to the HealthCare.gov webpage with preventive services resources.
(Mercer LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
New 'Preventive Services' Coverage Mandate Requirements Clarified
Excerpt: "[N]on-grandfathered health plans must provide coverage for, and may not impose any cost-sharing requirements with respect to, certain preventive care services effective with the first plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
HITECH Requirements: HHS Proposes Amendments to HIPAA Regulations
Excerpt: "Although HITECH generally became effective on February 18, 2010, business associates and covered entities will have 180 days after the effective date of the final regulations to comply with their requirements. The preamble indicates this 180-day compliance rule is expected to apply to future modifications of the HIPAA rules as well."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Google Will Underwrite or 'Gross Up' Tax Costs of Health-Insurance Benefits for Same-S.ex Domestic Partners
Excerpt: "In Google's case, the company will provide employees with a separate amount, instead of including it as a part of their regular pay. Heterose.xual partners, who are entitled to domestic-partner benefits, would not receive the 'gross ups,' since they have the option of getting married."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

What Does Health Reform Mean for the Healthcare Industry? Evidence from the Massachusetts Special Senate Election
Excerpt: "President Obama's health insurance reform efforts, as embodied in the bills passed by the House and Senate in late 2009 and signed into law in March of 2010, have been described both as a boon and a death blow for private insurance industries."
(National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve fulltext)




This one-hour e-learning course will examine the grandfathered health plan regulations that determine whether health plans have to comply with the full scope of PPACA, or whether certain important provisions can be avoided. You’ll learn the 12 main ways grandfathered status can be lost, special rules for collectively bargained plans and whether the law applies to retiree-only plans, dental, vision and more.

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Wall Street Reform Act Provisions Related to Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "This Alert addresses the Acts executive compensation and corporate governance provisions. For the most part, the Act is not prescriptive with regard to these requirements, leaving much of the heavy lifting to subsequent rulemaking by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the national securities exchanges and associations."
(Cooley LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Dodd-Frank Act's Executive Compensation & Corporate Governance Provisions
Excerpt: "Many of the new rules under the Act are effective beginning in 2011 or shortly thereafter. [PricewaterhouseCoopers offers observations on various sections of the Act.]"
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Financial Overhaul Bill with Pay, Governance Reforms to Become Law
Excerpt: "Companies will have to submit executive pay and golden parachutes to say-on-pay votes, provide new disclosures, meet independence standards for compensation committees and their advisers, adopt clawback policies, and face likely proxy access rules."
(Mercer LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
The Impact of Financial Reform on Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "Under the Act, public companies must provide shareholders with a 'say-on-pay' vote to approve the compensation of their 'named executive officers'[3] as disclosed in the Summary Compensation Table contained in companies' proxy statements at least once every three years."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Interim Rule Implements Reporting Requirements on Covered Federal Contractors
Excerpt: "[T]he federal government issued an Interim Rule on July 8, 2010, that requires many federal contractors and subcontractors to report and make publicly available the total compensation of their top five executives."
(Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)

How Smaller Employers Can Use Voluntary Benefits to Create a Competitive Advantage
24 pages. Excerpt: "Research from Colonial Life shows the top three most frequently offered voluntary benefits by small businesses are short-term disability, long-term disability and supplemental life."
(Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company)

[Opinion]
Internal Pay Equity Disclosure in Financial Reform
Excerpt: "For purposes of this disclosure, the Company must calculate the 'annual total compensation of all employees' using the rules for Total Annual Compensation figure in the Summary Annual Compensation Table! Reasonable people can differ as to whether internal pay equity is a relevant disclosure to investors, but companies can live with it. What no one can live with is the requirement that the total compensation of every employee in the company be calculated using the rules for calculating CEO compensation for the Summary Compensation Table."
(Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Opinion]
Response to Criticism of the Analysis Presented in the Report: 'Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years'
Excerpt: "Some have argued that because many public pension plans around the country are not fully funded, the entire cost of defined benefit (DB) pension benefits is not recognized in the data we used in our study, which comes from the National Compensation Survey . . . ."
(National Institute on Retirement Security)


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