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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 1, 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.

[Official Guidance]
FAQs About the Affordable Care Act Implementation: Part IV
Excerpt: "Set out [are three Frequently Asked Questions] regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Guidance Overview]
What to Do if Employee Prefers Restroom for Expressing Milk
Excerpt: "[T]he 'catalyst of risk' in this situation can be minimized by documenting the request, making it clear that this is the employee's decision, [but] if the employee raises the issue later, technically, the employer did violate the law."

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Administrator Must Pay Maximum Penalty for Delay in Providing Requested SPD
Excerpt: "Although the court suggests bad faith, in reality this may reflect a fairly common mistake of taking too long to prepare an SMM or restate an SPD to reflect a new coverage option. We strongly advise against relying on the 210-day rule."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Election-Day Changes May Give Benefits Managers Pause
Excerpt: "If midterm elections lead to a Republican-led House, it could mean some change to healthcare reform. Yet employers can be certain that some aspects of PPACA will affect them no matter what."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Health Coverage Changes for Federal Employees
Excerpt: "The average premiums government workers pay under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will increase 7.2 percent in 2011, according to the Office of Personnel Management."
(Government Executive)

Impact of the Prevention Plan on Employee Health Risk Reduction
10 pages. New Study in Peer-Reviewed 'Population Health Management' Journal Proves The Prevention Plan Lowers Health Risks In Key Areas.
(Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. via U.S. Preventive Medicine, Inc.)

Co-Payments for Many Preventive Medical Services for Most Workers Are About to Disappear
Excerpt: "The new federal healthcare law aims to encourage employees to get routine screenings and checkups that could help lower medical costs."
(Los Angeles Times)

Fixing the Nation's Four-Tranche Universal Health System: Next Steps for Both Republicans and Democrats
Excerpt: "U.S. citizens soon will be participating in a four-part, nearly universal, health care system. Medicare, Medicaid, employer-provided health, and the new exchange insurance policies all come with different government subsidies.'
(Urban Institute)

Health Prevention Rules Introduce New Complexity
Excerpt: "Atlantic Information Systems looks at prevention and health reform in a new article, 'Health Reform's Prevention-Services Rule Perplexes Health Plans With Coverage Mandates Open to Questions.' Here is an excerpt (and perspective from senior clinical consultant Patricia Zenner) . . . ."
(Healthcare Town Hall)

Is Health Regulation Battle Worth It?
Excerpt: "The long battle over the medical loss ratio--a term describing the portion of premium dollars actually spent on medical care . . . . is summed up with clarity in the New England Journal of Medicine by Prof. Tim Jost . . . ."
(Consumer Watchdog)

How to Make Corporate Wellness Work
Excerpt: "[C]ompanies should shift their focus away from short-term behavioral changes and toward addressing overall well-being."
(Star Tribune)

Provisions in Health Reform Law May Affect What Employer Insurance Plans Offer
Excerpt: "[T]his year, it could really pay off to educate yourself on all the options instead of automatically renewing your old plan. You may be able to take advantage of some benefits that kicked in over the past few months under the new health reform law."
(U.S. News & World Report)

Three Trial Court Decisions Address the Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate Under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: In light of the expected cost of purchasing future coverage (or, in the Virginia case, the cost of implementing the law), all three judges found that the various challengers had standing (i.e., the right to sue) because the mandate, even though not effective until 2014, created a sufficiently imminent likelihood of financial injury."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Does Competition Benefit Health Insurance Subscribers?
Excerpt: "How does competition work in the health insurance market? Do more competitors in a market area -- say, a state -- invariably mean a better deal for the insured?"
(Uwe E. Reinhardt via The New York Times; free registration required)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits Developments, October 2010
Excerpt: "A brief look at developments in Employee Benefits law from September and October 2010, including cases, rulings, and opinions."
(Hodgson Russ LLP)

With Little Room for Raises, Companies Can Offer Perks
Excerpt: "For employees at companies strapped for funds, experts say these workers can request rewards that won't necessarily show up on a paycheck."

Labor and Employee Benefits Handbook Coverage on the United States
Excerpt: "[The 13-page article provides] a summary of the United States' cross-border labor and employment laws. The article explores a number of different areas, including work permits, discrimination and harassment, and pensions."
(Practical Law Company via Littler Mendelson P.C.)

Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Cincinnati
in Ohio on November 4, 2010
presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- St. Louis (Richmond Heights)
in Missouri on November 9, 2010
presented by 401(k) Rekon

Press Releases

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