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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 18, 2010

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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.

[Guidance Overview]
Simple Mailing Mistakes Could Now Be HIPAA Violations Under New HHS Fundraising Rules
Excerpt: "The new regulations propose strengthening the language regarding the opt-out notification, stating that CEs must provide individuals with a 'clear and conspicuous' opportunity for the individual to elect not to receive future fundraising communications."
(AIS Health.com)

Leeway Given in Early Retiree Reimbursement Applications
Excerpt: "Employers that did not use the U.S. Postal Service to send in their applications to participate in a new early retiree health care reimbursement program will not be required to submit a new application, the Department of Health and Human Services said."
(Business Insurance)

Small Businesses Wrestle with What Health Reform Will Mean for Them
Excerpt: "As a result of the federal health overhaul, businesses 'with under 50 full-time equivalent employees will be under no obligation to offer health insurance, but those with over 50 must offer it or pay a fine. This will require counting employee hours; 30 hours is considered full time by the federal government. . . . '"
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Vision Benefit Plan Design a Powerful Tool in Employee Health Promotion
Excerpt: "Because optometrists can (and do) look at blood vessels during an eye exam, they can help identify symptoms of -- and manage -- a variety of conditions that might not otherwise be detected at a pre-symptomatic stage."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Pennsylvania Bill Would Mandate Workplace Sick Leave
Excerpt: "An Allegheny County state legislator wants all full-time workers in Pennsylvania to get 6 1/2 days of paid sick time per year, an idea that is going over well with labor unions and women's groups but not so well with some business owners."
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

End to COBRA Subsidy Means Higher Health Insurance Bills
Excerpt: "There's little chance that the subsidy will be renewed this election year, because Congress is in recess and little time remains in the session. But with the economy still struggling and layoffs continuing, hundreds of thousands of Americans may face a tough decision: Pay high COBRA premiums or drop coverage if they can't get cheaper individual policies."
(USA TODAY)

[Opinion]
U.S. Chamber Comments on Grandfathered Health Plan Status Regulations (PDF)
14 pages. Comments to DOL regard the Interim Final Rules for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Coverage Relating to Status as a Grandfathered Health Plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
(U.S. Chamber of Commerce)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Current Recapture Policies and the Dodd-Frank Act (PDF)
6 pages.
(Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Employee Benefits Update, August 2010 (PDF)
The eight-page newsletter presents select compliance deadlines and reminders; retirement plan developments; health and welfare plan developments, and, general developments.
(Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

Benefit Claims Jump Following Workforce Reductions
Excerpt: "The economic recession has led many employers to trim payroll in an effort to stay afloat. However, layoffs can have negative consequences for a company's healthcare and workers' compensation costs."
(Human Resource Executive Online)


Press Releases


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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

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in AL

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for Johnson & Dugan
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in CA




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