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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 12, 2010

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Join the nation's top retirement services marketing, sales, administration and record keeping professionals at the SPARK Forum. Gain insights into the latest industry trends. Attend sessions designed specifically for TPAs, Advisors and RIAs. Participate in interactive sessions on marketing, operations, investments and distribution issues, and network with peers from national banks, insurance companies, mutual fund complexes, investment firms, third party administrators, benefit consulting organizations and financial advisory firms.

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-69: No Requirement to Report 2011 Value of Employer-Provided Health Coverage (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This notice provides interim relief to employers with respect to reporting the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, pursuant to section 6051(a)(14) of the Code. Specifically, this notice provides that reporting the cost of such coverage will not be mandatory for Forms W-2 issued for 2011."
(Internal Revenue Service)

[Official Guidance]
Draft of 2010 IRS Form W-2 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Back of Copy B. Notice to Employee. . . . Cost of employer-sponsored health coverage (if provided by the employer). The reporting in Box 12, using Code DD, of the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage is for information only. The amount reported with Code DD is not taxable."
(Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Discrimination Based on Genetic Information: Labor Department FAQs
Excerpt: "An easy-to-understand set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) was released by the Department of Labor on a topic that still causes much confusion: the requirements of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that prohibit discrimination in group health coverage based on genetic information.'
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Sponsors Are Advised to Begin Preparing Early Retiree Reimbursement Program Early Retiree Lists
Excerpt: "Only those individuals who are early retiree subscribers (or their associated members) who meet the $15,000 threshold are to be included on the early retiree list - although, if a member meets the threshold but the subscriber does not, the subscriber's record must also be submitted with the associated member."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Transition Period Is Granted for New 'Opt-Out' Rules for Self-Funded Non-Federal Governmental Plans
Excerpt: "the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a transition period by which it will not take enforcement action until plan years beginning on or after April 1, 2011."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
PPACA's New Claims Review Procedures: A Recap of the Implementation Status
Excerpt: "Self-insured plans will typically not be subject to state review procedures, so would ordinarily fall within the category of plans subject to the federal external review procedures. Under Department of Labor Technical Release 2010-10, however, self-insured plans can avoid being subject to the federal review procedures if they voluntarily elect to comply with their state's external review procedures (where permitted), or if they comply with the procedures outlined in the Technical Release (which are based on the NAIC Model Act)."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
What Claims Are Eligible for Reimbursement under the Early Retiree Reimbursement Program?
Excerpt: "Essentially, only those items and services that are reimbursable under Medicare will count toward the threshold and be eligible for reimbursement under the Early Retiree Reimbursement Program . . ., the Department of Health and Human Services recently explained."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Early Retiree Reinsurance Program Guidance Gives More Details on Retiree Lists and Eligible Claims
Excerpt: "More guidance on the early retiree reinsurance program (ERRP) gives details on the retiree and claim data that plan sponsors will need to submit to receive the subsidy. Along with clarifying which retirees and claims are eligible for reimbursement, the guidance outlines specific formatting requirements for the two different methods of submitting retiree lists. The ERRP website will begin accepting retiree data submissions in a few weeks."
(Mercer LLC)

Consumer Watchdog Urges White House to Reject Bid by Notorious Junk Insurance Company to Evade Health Reform
Excerpt: "Consumer Watchdog called on the Department of Health and Human Services to require employers and insurance companies that it has already granted waivers to make public the terms of their limited-benefit policies and the data showing health insurance premiums will increase without the exemption."
(Consumer Watchdog)

The Funding Status of Retiree Health Plans in the Public Sector
Excerpt: "We consider the extent of the unfunded liabilities states face and explore what factors may explain the variation in liabilities across states. The importance and sustainability of RHI plans in the public sector ultimately depends on how workers view and value this post-retirement benefit, yet little is known about how RHI directly impacts the public sector labor market."
(National Bureau of Economic Research: paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve fulltext)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
The ERISA Litigation Newsletter, October 2010
This edition focuses on a recent ruling: 'Tenth Circuit Permits Discovery of Dual Role Conflict of Interest Issues in ERISA Benefit Claims, But with Limitations;' it also covers other Rulings, Filings and Settlements of Interest.
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Taxation of Employer-Provided Cell Phones: Heightened Substantiation No Longer Required
Excerpt: "With the deletion of cell phones from 'listed property,' the ability to exclude the benefit from employees' taxable income has become less burdensome."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, October 2010 (PDF)
2 pages. The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee benefits and upcoming key dates.
(Milliman)


Webcasts and Conferences

ERISA Litigation Update
in California on October 21, 2010
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter


Press Releases


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Education Coordinator
for Transamerica Retirement Services
in IL




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