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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 2, 2010

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P&I Retirement Plan Connections Online Conference - Tuesday, December 7
Connect with leading industry experts, your colleagues & solutions providers without leaving your desk.
In straightforward language, this online conference will provide time-tested strategies from experts & your peers. Whether your objective is to build your business & best help your clients, or make prudent decisions for your plan participants, this conference will provide the answers you need. Register today FREE of charge.

[Guidance Overview]
FUTA Taxation of Domestic Partner's Health Coverage
Excerpt: "A domestic partner who is a dependent of an employee under Code § 152 is also a dependent for purposes of the wage exclusion for employer-provided health coverage under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), a recent IRS Chief Counsel Advice concluded."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
2011 Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Adoption Assistance, Archer MSAs, and Control Employees
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: Employers with adoption benefit plans will need to confirm whether their plans automatically apply the latest limits or whether an amendment is needed to recognize the cost-of-living increases."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Prescription Drug Benefit Cost and Plan Design Online Report, 2010-2011
The report provides an overview of U.S. trends in prescription drug coverage, plan design, utilization, and drug costs.
(Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute)

Weighing the Benefits: The Economics of Obesity Surgery
Excerpt: "Can offering morbidly obese patients bariatric surgery as a covered procedure reduce their future health care costs?"
(American Academy of Actuaries)

ERRP Is Now Open for Claims Reimbursement Requests on the ERRP Secure Website
Excerpt: "A training presentation on reporting costs and requesting reimbursement also is available on the website."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Applying Value-Based Insurance Design to Low-Value Health Services
Excerpt: "This paper argues that investments in processes to define low-value care, comparative effectiveness research to identify services that produce harm or marginal clinical benefit, and information technology to implement findings can facilitate applying value-based insurance design to the low-value realm."
(Health Affairs)

Pay-for-Results Health Insurance Promotes the Idea of Fiscal Responsibility
Excerpt: "Though it seems like an idea that can be easily attacked as just another scheme to ration care, the reform - called value-based insurance design - couples the Republican principles of market-based incentives and consumer choice with the Democratic reformers' goal of eliminating costly and unnecessary care."
(The Fiscal Times)

Number of Small Businesses Offering Health Insurance to Workers Is Projected to Increase Sharply This Year,
Excerpt: "According to a report by Bernstein Research in New York, the percentage of employers with between three and nine workers and which are offering insurance has increased to 59% this year, up from 46% last year."
(The Wall Street Journal)

The Health Reform Law Exempts Certain Existing Health Insurance Plans from Many Requirements
Excerpt: "This Health Policy Brief examines the debate over provisions of the law and highlights key concerns for consumers and other stakeholders."
(Health Affairs)

The Effect of the Risk of Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Care on Economic Preparation for Retirement
Excerpt: "We find that the risk of out-of-pocket health care spending reduces economic preparation for retirement from about 72% of persons in the age range 65-69 to about 63%. However, this relatively modest reduction is quite unequally distributed: about 57% of single persons are adequately prepared when health care spending is not stochastic, but just 44% when it is."
(University of Michigan Retirement Research Center)

[Opinion]
Health Insurance and Life Expectancy
Excerpt: "Did you know that Hispanic Americans live longer than non-Hispanic whites? If that doesn't knock your socks off, consider this: American Hispanics are three times as likely to be uninsured as non-Hispanic whites."
(National Center for Policy Analysis)




The nation's workforce and health care system are constantly evolving and so are the legal issues. Law Journal Press helps you handle any benefits law question with up-to-date, authoritative books on all aspects of the field. Get legal and practical advice from leading experts on everything from COBRA to ERISA, "contingent" employees to family and medical leave, and more. Browse our product listings for detailed information and special offers.
Sponsored by ALM

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
In 2010 Employers Should Respond to New Developments for Existing and Future Separation Arrangements
Excerpt: "Among the many tax issues implicated by separation arrangements are two relatively new developments that may require special attention when drafting offer letters, severance plans, release agreements, change in control arrangements and similar separation arrangements. Employers should review their separation arrangements by year-end to address these new developments."
(Perkins Coie LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
USERRA Coverage May Be Triggered Prior to Formal Military Orders
Excerpt: "[T]he 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employee's announcement to his employer that he intended to return to active duty after remaining inactive for multiple years was sufficient to trigger protection under the USERRA."
(Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC)

12-Month Private Industry Compensation Costs Increase 2.0 Percent
Excerpt: "Among occupational groups, compensation cost increases for private industry workers for the 12-month period ending September 2010 ranged from 1.4 percent for service occupations to 2.5 percent for production, transportation, and material moving occupations."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employee Ownership Update for November 1, 2010
The DOL has proposed defining ESOP appraisers as fiduciaries, which could cause appraisal fees to skyrocket and in turn cause the number of ESOPs to decrease. Five of the ESOP companies named as winners of the Winning Workplaces award are featured in a video compilation. There is no obligation for unvested restricted stock to have voting or dividend rights. The EBRI has a great retirement planning Web site. The NCEO's issue brief 'Wellness Programs and Employee Ownership' is a best-seller.
(National Center for Employee Ownership)

[Opinion]
A Hostile Work Environment: Discrimination and the Work Family 'Balance'
Excerpt: "What [women are] rejecting is the system that punishes them for trying to hold on to a little piece of each [- work and family]. "
(The Huffington Post)


Webcasts and Conferences

2011 Business Management Conference (2011BMC)
in Arizona on January 15, 2011
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Are Your HIPAA Security Measures Keeping You Up at Night?
Nationwide on November 18, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Defined Contribution Hot Topics and Trends
in New York on November 16, 2010
presented by International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists - NY Metro Chapter

Legal Update 2010
in Michigan on November 17, 2010
presented by International Society of CEBS - West Michigan Chapter

409A Strategies: The Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on November 4, 2010
presented by BNA Tax & Accounting


Press Releases

PBGC's Deneen Announces Retirement
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc..
in TX

Account Manager
for Lincoln Financial Group
in IL, IN

Attorney - Insurance and Securities
for Transamerica Life Insurance Company
in CA

Retirement Plan Representative
for First Savings
in PA




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