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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 31, 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]
CMS Announces Medicare Part D Premium Amounts for 2011
Excerpt: "The national average Part D premium for Medicare prescription drug coverage will reach $32.34 in 2011, up from $31.94 per month in 2010, CMS estimates. "
(Mercer)

Striking Coca-Cola Workers Sue After Healthcare Benefits Terminated
Excerpt: "'On or about August 24, 2010, Coca-Cola unilaterally and without notice or lawful authority ceased to permit or enable the class representatives and putative class members to make the employee contributions toward the cost of their coverage under the plan through monthly payroll deduction,' states the suit, which seeks class action status on behalf of approximately 500 full-time Coca-Cola employees."
(Business Insurance)

HHS Pushes Competition With Health Insurance Site
Excerpt: "HealthCare.gov hopes transparency on health policy costs, claim denials drives down costs and helps consumers and businesses make better decisions."
(Information Week)

Consumers Won Reversals for 47% of Health Claim Denials in New York
Excerpt: "[The] Consumer Guide to Health Insurers [issued by the New York State Insurance Department] indicates that of the 71,787 cases where people were seeking to reverse a health insurer's denial of coverage, exactly 33,921 won their appeals."
(Insurance & Financial Advisor)

Company Focuses on Saving Money on Drug Prices
Excerpt: "Navitus Health Solutions was founded to bring some clarity to the murky world of drug pricing."
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

About 2,000 Employers to Draw Health Funds
Excerpt: "Almost 2,000 employers and unions will be eligible to submit retirees' medical bills for reimbursement by a $5 billion federal fund, the Obama administration will disclose Tuesday, suggesting the fund will be spread widely but thinly."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Health Insurers, Employers May Battle Lawsuits, Pay Out Big-Ticket Claims Under Healthcare Reform
Excerpt: "Not requiring plan members to use their external review options as a precondition to filing a lawsuit could increase legal costs . . . . Plans must make available external review mechanisms with independent review organizations, but going directly to court is allowed."
(Messenger-Inquirer via Thomson Business Intelligence Service on InsuranceNewsNet.com)

American Medical Association and State Medical Societies Back Plan Limiting Insurers Administrative Spending
Excerpt: "Physician and hospital organizations have expressed general support for a proposal from state insurance commissioners on what health insurers should be allowed to consider medical spending under new health system reform regulations."
(American Medical Association)

Most Large Employers Will Change Health Plan Designs in Spite Of, Or Because Of, Health Reform
Excerpt: "More than half (53%) of large employers plan to proceed with health plan design changes for 2011, in spite of the threat of losing grandfathered plan status under health reform, according to a survey from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH)."
(Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

[Opinion]
First Obamacare Casualty: Health Insurance Agents, Rest In Peace
Excerpt: "The first casualties of ObamaCare -- not counting truth and the trust the public had placed in President Obama to keep his promises -- will be health insurance agents. That proud army of tens of thousands of Americans whose calling was to help individuals and employers work through the maze of available health insurance policies to find one that met their clients' needs."
(Merrill Matthews on Forbes.com)

[Opinion]
Pro & Con: Will Health Overhaul Provide Better Care for U.S. Workers?
Excerpt: "YES: Entrepreneurs will better afford coverage and options will increase. . . . NO: Businesses will drop health plans and hire fewer workers because of the costs."
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Hodgson Russ LLP - Employee Benefits Developments August 2010
Nice summaries of important recent ERISA cases.
(Hodgson Russ)

SEC Approves Final Proxy Access Rule
Excerpt: "The SEC has approved a final proxy access rule giving certain shareholders the right to nominate board candidates using a company's proxy statement."
(Mercer)

2010 Director Compensation: NASDAQ 100 vs. NYSE 100 (PDF)
28 pages. Excerpt: "Comparison of Non-Employee Director Compensation at the 100 Largest NASDAQ and 100 Largest New York Stock Exchange Companies"
(Frederick W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

[Opinion]
No One Fix for Social Security
Excerpt: "Personal accounts are a valid choice, and one I've supported in the past and continue to support. But accounts aren't exclusive to tax increases or benefit cuts; they don't, as I'll explain, reduce the need for these other choices."
(Andrew C. Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute, via National Public Radio)

[Opinion]
Public Employee Pension Reforms Recipe for Disaster
Excerpt: "While many of the people, including the Daily News, calling for reform are acknowledging that private-sector workers have lost tremendous value on their retirement plans, incredibly they present that as a model for public-sector employees!"
(Paul Weber in the Los Angeles Daily News)


Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Financial Advisor Symposium
in Washington on September 28, 2010
presented by 401(k) Rekon

Advanced Actuarial Practice (A-4) Examination
Nationwide on December 9, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ASPPA Webcast: Tax Return Preparer Registration Program
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Basics of Roth Conversions/Retirement Planning Phone Forum
Nationwide on September 30, 2010
presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

How ERISA Will Affect Your Group Insurance Clients in 2010
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by ERISA Pros

IRA Fall Seminar Tour
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Advanced Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on November 18, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An Introduction to Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on October 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An IRA Foundation: Overview, Establishment, and Eligibility
Nationwide on September 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An IRA Foundation: Overview, Establishment, and Eligibility
Nationwide on November 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Beneficiary IRA Administration: Forms, Options, and Reporting
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Beneficiary IRA Administration: Forms, Options, and Reporting
Nationwide on November 23, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Distributions: It's an IRA Owner's Money, But…
Nationwide on October 13, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on September 23, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on October 19, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on November 10, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Policies & Procedures: What Every Custodian Should Know
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Self Audit: What to Look For
Nationwide on September 16, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA: Excess Contributions & Recharacterizations: Understanding the Difference
Nationwide on October 5, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on September 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on October 21, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on November 17, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers and Transfers: What is the Difference?
Nationwide on September 30, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers, Transfers and Direct Rollovers: IRA & Employer Plan Portability
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers, Transfers and Direct Rollovers: IRA & Employer Plan Portability
Nationwide on November 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - SEPs and SIMPLEs: In Simple Terms
Nationwide on October 7, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services


Press Releases

U.S. Labor Department Sues San Jose Firm and Owner to Recover Workers' Retirement Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

ASPPA Issues Comment On DOL Fee Disclosure Regulation
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

IFLC Awards its Five Star Ranking to DailyAccess Corporation
Investment Fiduciary Leadership Council (IFLC)


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