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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 9, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
DHHS Requests Comments on Establishment of State Health Insurance Exchanges
Excerpt: "[E]mployers may be interested in the design and operation of the Exchanges. Beyond the comments requested otherwise, the DHHS specifically asks employers to identify [design] features likely to be most important for employer participation in the Exchanges."

[Guidance Overview]
Update on Early Retiree Reinsurance Program; Relief for Incomplete Applications
Excerpt: "Applications filed incorrectly or incompletely as a result of the sponsor not having consulted the Frequently Asked Questions posted by the Department on June 29 will be identified and the Department will give the sponsor an opportunity to submit the required additional information as an attachment to the original application."

How Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Affect Small, Medium, and Large Businesses?
Excerpt: "Larger firms are unlikely to experience significant changes in the coverage they provide but may face higher costs associated with increased take-up of the policies that they offer."
(Urban Institute)

Local Employer Pay-or-Play Laws: ERISA Preemption a Moot Issue?
Excerpt: "Following the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the sweeping changes it is making to the healthcare landscape, it appears the issue of whether existing non-Federal employer 'pay-or-play' healthcare mandates are preempted by ERISA has been put on hold."

Obesity Fight Shifts to Prevention
Excerpt: "[T]he medical cost of the epidemic, estimated at more than $147 billion in 2008, continues to climb. People who are overweight are at higher risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, sleep apnea and other health conditions."
(Sacramento Business Journal)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, August 2010 (PDF)
2 page summary of legislative and regulatory developments during July.

Who Should Pay for the Trillion-Dollar Pension Gap?
Excerpt: "[G]iven that we've promised at least $1 trillion more in retirement benefits to public employees than we have put aside to pay for them, who should pay to make up the difference? Should it be the employees themselves who pay, through cutbacks to annual cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees or tweaks to benefits that those still working will receive?"
(New York Times; free registration required)

Webcasts and Conferences

Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning Workshop
in Massachusetts on August 23, 2010
presented by University of Massachusetts Boston

Workshop on DB Plan Funding Relief and Fee Disclosure Regulations
in California on August 19, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Press Releases

Administrator/Trustee of Retirement Trust is Arrested for Embezzling Approximately $260,000 From the Trust
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Account /Client Services Manager (Insurance/TPA)
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Relationship Manager
for Employee Fiduciary
in FL

Service Associate
for The Senex Group, Woodland Hills, California
in CA

for Trust Company of Illinois
in IL

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