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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 14, 2010

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This new book will help benefits professionals and plan sponsors make a smooth transition under the health care reform legislation enacted in March 2010. The unique guide offers answers to more than 500 questions that benefits professionals are asking. Get the information you need to implement the reform mandates! Learn More.

[Guidance Overview]
Nondiscrimination Rules Now Extend to Insured Health Plans
Excerpt: "Providing more favorable coverage or benefits to even one current or former executive -- 'executive,' for this purpose generally means anyone in the top 25% of the workforce, by pay -- can create huge problems. Further, the issue arises whether the more favorable coverage or benefits are provided or promised under a health plan or simply in an employment or severance agreement."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Deadlines Loom for Health Plan Disclosures
The target page provides a brief summary of the disclosures required for 2011.
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Relief for Reporting the Aggregate Cost of 'Applicable Employer-Sponsored' Group Health Plan Coverage (PDF)
2 pages. IRS Notice 2010-69 provides that the W-2 reporting requirements imposed by health care reform will not be mandatory for 2011.
(Buck Consultants)

No Tax on Health Care Benefits Before 2018
Excerpt: "While the White House is busy crowing over the fact that it has . . . proven the health care reform naysayers wrong, it should be pointed out that there will be a tax on the cost of some health benefits, just not until 2018."
(Wolters Kluwer)

The Impact of the COBRA Premium Subsidy on Coverage (PDF)
Pages 10-14 of 16 pages. Excerpt: "The federal subsidy to help laid-off American workers pay for continued health care through the COBRA program helped fewer individuals than expected -- in part because COBRA premiums remained unaffordable for many families even with the subsidy . . . ."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Improved Dependent Care Resources Aid Employee Health and Productivity
Excerpt: "Dependent care resources, or 'supports' as the study refers to them, include employer-provided child care, back-up care at the worksite, and elder care programs."
(Wolters Kluwer)

The Hidden Cost of Public Sector Retiree Health Benefits in New York (PDF)
32 pages. Excerpt: "New York's public-sector employees have been promised $205 bil.lion in post-retirement health benefits that the state and its local governments have set aside no money to pay for . . . ."
(Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc.)

Insurers Prod Patients to Pick Doctor and Hospitals That Offer 'Value'
Excerpt: "This fall, when you eyeball your health insurance options for next year there may be a new twist to how you choose. You may be able to save on premiums and out-of-pocket costs by agreeing to use doctors and hospitals your plan says give the best value for the money."
(NPR)

Comments on the Individual Mandate in Health Reform
Excerpt: "Last week, a federal District Court judge in Michigan rejected a constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is the first time that a court has gotten to the merits of the case against the ACA. [In the target document are] excepts from analysis by Timothy Jost of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, explaining the decision."
(The Century Foundation)

Prescription Abandonment
Excerpt: "Private health plans that should be assisting patients in receiving the care that they should have, denied over 8 percent of the new prescriptions recommended by physicians. Of all new prescriptions, over 6 percent were prepared but then abandoned by patients, primarily because of the high out-of-pocket costs of the prescription."
(Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solutions via Physicians for a National Health Program)




An employer writes:

"I have to tell you that of all the job boards I've ever used, this one has the best quality of candidates. I don't get flooded with tons of resumes, and even the candidates who aren't fit for the jobs we have don't miss the mark by much."


Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Time Off for Voting: State-by-State
Excerpt: "Many states allow employees to take time off, sometimes with pay, so that they can vote. The chart below provides a general overview of each state's law as to time off, pay, and what, if any, advance notice is required before taking time off to vote."
(Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)


Webcasts and Conferences

"ERISA Workshop" - Appleton
in Wisconsin on November 9, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Chicago
in Illinois on November 10, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Dallas
in Texas on November 11, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Irvine
in California on November 12, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Kansas City
in Kansas on November 11, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Milwaukee
in Wisconsin on November 10, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"PTIN and Me: New Rules; New Duties; New Questions" Web Seminar
Nationwide on October 26, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"The New Service Provider Fee Regs: The Wait Is Over" Archived Web Seminar
Nationwide on October 13, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius


Press Releases

COBRA Premium Subsidy Helped Fewer Than Expected
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

ASPPA's College of Pension Actuaries Issues Letter to PBGC
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Qualified Plan Specialist
for Beyer-Barber Company
in PA

Defined Benefit Operations Analyst-(Contractor)
for SunGard Financial Systems
in NJ, NY

Defined Contribution Manager
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.
in ANY STATE




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