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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 2, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Vigilance and Policies Needed to Meet New Preventive Health Care Cost-Sharing Requirements
Excerpt: "When reviewing the potential impact of these regulations and their internal operating procedures, providers should consider: documenting and implementing internal policies and procedures with respect to the billing treatment of preventive services and office visits; maintaining communication with health plans and insurance providers, as many have begun implementing the new preventive care regulations; educating patients about potential and actual changes in the collection of cost-sharing amounts and about the provider's billing practices with respect to preventive services and office visits."
(Pepper Hamilton LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Federal External Review of Benefit Claims and Appeals under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: " This 'WorkCite' deals specifically with a new federal process for the external review of benefit claims and appeals under self-insured group health plans that are not 'grandfathered' plans under the Act."
(McGuireWoods LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Simple Cafeteria Plans under Health Care Reform (PDF)
Pages 4-5 of 6 pages.
(Trucker Huss)

Employer Health Benefits 2010 Annual Survey
Excerpt: "This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

New York Enacts Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers
Excerpt: "[The new law] amends New York Labor Law to entitle domestic workers to receive overtime pay, one day of rest per week or overtime pay when they work on their day of rest, and three days of paid time off after one year of employment."
(Littler Mendelson P.C.)

HHS Announces Approved ERRP Applicants; New Resources Available for Employers (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Approximately 2,000 employers, state and local governments, educational institutions, non-profits, and unions have been accepted into the [Early Retiree Reinsurance Program] and will be able to receive reimbursements for early retiree claims this fall."
(Hewitt Associates)

State Reform Dominates Boston, Massachusetts, Health Care Market Dynamics
Excerpt: "A key provision of Massachusetts' health reform law was the merger of the small group and individual, or nongroup, insurance markets, which was designed to make premiums more affordable for individual purchasers."
(Center for Studying Health System Change)

The Impact of Health Reform on Small Businesses
Excerpt: "Analysis shows that up to 16.6 million workers are in firms that would be eligible for the tax credit in 2010 to 2013. Over the next 10 years, small businesses and organizations could receive an estimated $40 billion in federal support through the premium credit program."
(The Commonwealth Fund)

With Passage of Health Care Reform, Companies Faced with Hard Choices on Employee Benefits
Excerpt: "The main facet of the legislation that will affect companies in the near term (starting September 23) is the requirement to expand eligibility for employees' children up to age 26, whether or not they meet the current definition of a dependent. Towers Watson estimates that will add less than 1% to most companies' premium costs."

NAIC Approves Form for Medical Loss Ratio Reporting
Excerpt: "The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Executive Plenary Committee has approved final implementation of a medical loss ratio (MLR) 'blanks' to implement Public Health Service Act 2718 as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Are Workplace Smoking Bans Hazardous?
Excerpt: "A study finds that reduced smoking in the workplace may lead to higher rates of obesity, leading some experts to wonder whether company smoking bans really do have an overall beneficial effect. They stress that a holistic view on wellness initiatives, including incentives, is necessary."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Book Review: How Companies Can Turn an Ageing Workforce to Their Advantage
Excerpt: "By carefully examining statistical evidence, the authors conclude that 'on virtually every dimension that is relevant to employers, older workers come out ahead of their younger colleagues'. These include in areas such as knowledge, skills, abilities, problem-solving and adaptability."
(Singapore Management University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Perks/Alternative 'Rewards' Substitute for Fatter Paychecks
Excerpt: "Flextime -- allowing individuals to alter their working hours -- can be an attractive reward for hard-working employees. . . . Another option is getting employers to pay for courses, seminars and conferences, or membership to professional groups . . . ."
(Columbia Daily Tribune)

Corporate Lawyers Warn of 'Logistical Nightmare' Requirement That Companies Disclose Ratio Between CEO Pay Package and That of Typical Employee
Excerpt: "The lawyers say that the ratio would be unfairly complex to calculate and could encourage false comparisons. But the real problem is that C.E.O.'s and corporate boards would have to justify -- to shareholders, employees and the public -- what are sure to be some very large gaps between pay at the top and pay for everyone else.'
(The New York Times; free registration required)

Webcasts and Conferences

New Appeals and External Review Rules for Self-Funded Plans: Health Care Reform Drill Down
Nationwide on September 23, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

The Dodd-Frank Act on Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Webinar
Nationwide on September 15, 2010
presented by Ballard Spahr LLP

Webinar: Why Sponsor Independent Financial Education?
Nationwide on October 6, 2010
presented by Financial Topics 101

Press Releases

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

DB/DC Pension Analyst
for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

On-Site Pension Actuary
for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

"Producing" 401k Pension Plan Administrator - Full or Part-time
for Crown Benefits, Inc.
in AK, AZ, CA, HI, NV, OR, TX, WA

Client Consultant
for Prudential
in IA

Director, Marketing Management
for Prudential
in CT

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