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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 27, 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.

[Guidance Overview]
Fact Sheet: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "[W]here employers already provide compensated breaks, an employee who uses that break time to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for break time. In addition, the FLSA's general requirement that the employee must be completely relieved from duty or else the time must be compensated as work time applies."
(U.S. Department of Labor)

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed Rule Implements HITECH Act and Amends HIPAA Rules (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "As required by the HITECH Act, the rule would require the DHHS to conduct a compliance review when a preliminary review of the facts of a complaint indicates a possible violation due to willful neglect."
(Dechert LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
PBM Not A Fiduciary Under D.C. Law and ERISA Preempts Some Provisions
Excerpt: "Parts of a District of Columbia . . . law regulating and treating pharmacy benefit managers . . . as fiduciaries of employee benefit plans is preempted by ERISA, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit."
(Wolters Kluwer)

COBRA Subsidy Expires Amid Deficit Concerns
Excerpt: "Although supporters of COBRA subsidies will continue their push, it could become increasingly difficult to restart a program that has been expired for several months, especially as a contentious election season heats up."
(Towers Watson)

Industry Still Making Sense of Federal E-Health Regs
Excerpt: "Health care industry players are still sorting out the latest regulations on an up-to-$36 billion federal program to encourage doctors and hospitals to use electronic medical records."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Republicans and U.S. Chamber Target New Tax-Reporting Rule in Health Law
Excerpt: "Under the Democrats' new healthcare reform bill, companies, nonprofits and government offices are required to file 1099 forms with the IRS when goods purchased from another business exceed $600 in a year. Under previous law, the reporting requirement pertained only to services exceeding that amount."
(Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Option Vesting on Change in Control: Timely Constructive Termination Notice
Excerpt: "The federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that an executive was not required to give notice of constructive termination until the executive had sufficient detail about a promised position to determine whether that position would involve a substantial reduction in responsibilities."
(Utz, Miller & Eickman, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
Wall Street Reform Provisions Relating to Corporate Governance, Executive Compensation and Disclosure (PDF)
Excerpt: "Under Dodd-Frank shareholders of U.S. public companies will have a nonbinding 'say on pay' vote for named executive officers, new standards relating to the independence of compensation committees and compensation advisors are mandated, current and former executive officers may be forced to return compensation if a restatement of financial statements triggers a 'clawback' . . . ."
(Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Defense of Marriage Act Found Unconstitutional by Federal Trial Court in Massachusetts
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: The U.S. government must now decide whether to appeal, and it is impossible to predict how the issues will fare in the court of appeals (or potentially in the Supreme Court). The matter of DOMA's validity is significant in the benefits arena, of course, given the federal tax implications for benefits provided to same-s.ex spouses and the impact DOMA has on other benefit rules (including, among others, whether same-s.ex spouses have COBRA and HIPAA special enrollment rights)."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Webcasts and Conferences

The DOL's New Fee Disclosure Regs: Maximum Impact
Nationwide on August 3, 2010
presented by Qualified Pension Consulting, Inc.

The DOL's New Fee Disclosure Regs: Maximum Impact
Nationwide on August 26, 2010
presented by Qualified Pension Consulting, Inc.

Press Releases

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401k Sales HUNTER!!!!
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in CA, CT, MA, MO, NJ, NY, WA, WI

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