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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 27, 2010

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No matter how benefits-savvy your employees may be, today's health care environment can confuse the most sophisticated consumer. That's why companies large and small use BeneCom for their benefits communication. We know benefits and we understand what employees need to know to make them work - for themselves and for you. And while we're at it, we make your life a little easier, too.

For more information visit our site or call (860) 674-2626, Ext. 2001

[Guidance Overview]
Insurers Critique Grandfather Provision, and Feds Provide Some Relief
Excerpt: "According to EBSA, until the issuance of final regulations, an insured group health plan will not be treated as having ceased to be a grandfathered health plan immediately based on a change in the employer contribution rate if the employer plan sponsor and issuer take the following steps . . . ."
(Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview]
External Review Process under Health Care Reform (PDF)
4 pages.
(Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

[Guidance Overview]
New Informal Guidance Issued on Various Health Reform Mandates
Excerpt: "On its web site, the DOL posted new frequently asked questions . . ., providing guidance on various new mandates. The DOL simultaneously issued DOL Technical Release 2010-02 addressing certain issues affecting the new internal appeals and external review requirements. Separately, the IRS issued Notice 2010-63 announcing that the IRS is seeking comments on the application of nondiscrimination rules to insured arrangements."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Interim Final Regulations and Additional Guidance Issued with Respect to Healthcare Reform Requirements
September 2010 edition of 'Recent Developments In Employee Benefits And Executive Compensation."
(Blank Rome LLP)

Pay for Massages With a Flexible Spending Account
Excerpt: "[A]sk the administrator of your account whether massages are expenses eligible for reimbursement. If they are, you will probably need a prescription from your doctor for massage therapy for a particular ailment to use your account to pay for the massage. Most doctors are happy to oblige once you explain the reasoning to them; I know this from experience, having been in on this nice little loophole for years."
(The New York Times; free registration required)

Implementation Opportunities and Challenges for Employers and Consumers under Health Reform
Excerpt: "This briefing . . . explored some of the major provisions that relate to these changes. Among them: What impact, if any, will the individual and employer mandates, minimum benefits requirements and allowing young adults on their parents' health plans until age 26 have on cost and coverage? What are the implications of the 1099 reporting requirement? How can consumers access their benefits and rights under the new reform law? Employer health plans: To grandfather or not grandfather?"
(Alliance for Health Reform)

Employers to Address Health Reform's Effect in This Year's Open Enrollment Materials
Excerpt: "According to HighRoads, 75 percent of employers plan to address the effect of health-care reform in their open enrollment materials. In fact, 63 percent of respondents are creating new communication materials specifically for the communication of health-care reform."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Major Health Reform Provisions Took Effect Last Week
Excerpt: "Last Thursday, September 23, a series of health reform provisions impacting employer-based health plans began to take effect. Among the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) that take effect for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010, are the following . . . ."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Reprieve for Group Health Plans Unable to Meet Claims and Appeals Standards Deadline
Excerpt: "Group health plans and health insurance issuers struggling with procedural and computer system changes as they attempt to implement compliant internal claims and appeals procedures received an enforcement grace period until July 1, 2011, from the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service."
(Tax Management Inc.)

GAO Appoints Health Care Outcomes Research Board
Excerpt: "The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will conduct research projects to determine the most cost-effective and efficacious medical treatments that should be covered by health insurance."
(Business Insurance)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
What Your Board Should Know About Proxy Access (PDF)
6 pages.
(Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Webcasts and Conferences

Health Care Reform Amendments for Cafeteria, HRA and Wrap Plans Free Webinar
Nationwide on September 28, 2010
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Press Releases

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Pension Fund Manager
for Third Party Administrator seeks DB Pension Fund Manager
in NY

Senior Administrator
for Mercer Advisors
in AZ

Where the best employers find the best candidates!

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