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.
Business Groups Seek Health Care Payment Reforms
Excerpt: "'[T]here are no set rules for payment reform. Ideas up for discussion include the bundling of what would be normally be mass billings into fewer invoices, the establishment of bonus systems to reward hospitals for quality service and setting up medically centered homes for patients' . . . ."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
Employers Not Dropping Coverage As Mental Health Parity Law Is Enacted
Excerpt: "The full effects won't be felt until early 2011 as health plans begin their new enrollment years, but '[e]arly indications ... are that relatively few employers are dropping mental health coverage in response to the law's mandate, a concern of some of the bill's opponents.'"
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
New Research Shows Just How Costly Obesity Is to Employers
Excerpt: "The severity of the condition matters. Individuals with a body-mass index greater than 35 represent 37 percent of the obese population, but are responsible for 61 percent of excess costs, the study finds."
(Human Resource Executive Online)
Government Plans' Methods to Keep Health Care Expenses Down
Excerpt: "The battle to contain seemingly relentless increases in health costs has taken different forms among the nation's local governments. Like Asheville, some are pushing wellness programs. Others are holding down their own costs by passing more of the insurance bill to employees."
(American City & County)
Insurers Test New Cancer Pay Systems
Excerpt: "The insurers have begun tightening oversight of the care provided to patients with many different types of cancer, hoping to lower expenses by experimenting with new ways to pay specialists."
(The New York Times; free registration required)
The Impact of the COBRA Premium Subsidy on Coverage (PDF)
Pages 10-14 of 16 pages. Excerpt: "There are widely conflicting estimates of how many people benefited from the COBRA subsidy, but generally there has been lower-than-expected take-up of the subsidy. This may be due to the fact that, even after the subsidy, COBRA premiums may not be affordable for many families, especially at a time when they have seen a decline in income and since health insurance is expensive even with the subsidy."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Benefits in General; Executive Compensation
Ninth Circuit Holds That Top Hat Plan of Insolvent Employer Could Not Distribute Its Funds to Participants
Excerpt: "In accordance with the parties' express intent to create an unfunded top hat plan, Article 10.6's prohibition on distributing the Plan's assets when the employer is insolvent must be interpreted to apply even in the event of plan termination. Thus, the Court held that the Plan could not distribute its funds, if the employer was in fact insolvent."
(Stanley D. Baum of Fellheimer & Eichen LLP)
Companies Should Consider Early Bonus Payments
Excerpt: "Many companies are considering paying bonuses that normally would be paid in early 2011 by December 31, 2010 to ensure that employees receive the benefit of the current, lower tax rates."
(Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)
Employee Benefits Update, October 2010 (PDF)
The six-page newsletter presents select compliance deadlines and reminders; retirement plan developments; and, health and welfare plan developments.
(Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)
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