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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 3, 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]
Additional Guidance on Notice of Grandfather Status (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The most recent set of FAQs provides helpful guidance on the requirements for distribution of notice of grandfather status. It also contains an illustration of how the agencies will apply the 'reasonable good faith' standard with respect to a plan sponsor's interpretation of what constitutes an essential health benefit."
(Buck Consultants)

Treasury Official Discusses Employer Coverage Obligations Under Health Reform Rules
Excerpt: "[The official] reported that retroactive rescission of health care coverage may be limited for both medical and nonmedical reasons. This includes errors committed by the plan, mistakenly granting nonqualified employees health care coverage."
(Wolters Kluwer)

At Pitney Bowes, Value-Based Insurance Design Cut Copayments and Increased Drug Adherence
Excerpt: "By eliminating or reducing copayments for key drugs prescribed for employees at risk for cardiovascular disease, a value-based health insurance program at the U.S.-based firm Pitney Bowes led to modest increases in medication adherence rates compared with a control group."
(The Commonwealth Fund)

Earlier End-of-Life Care Planning Can Cut Costs and Improve Outcomes
Excerpt: "Although most health insurers offer palliative and hospice care, many patients might not be getting that care soon enough for it to really help them."
(AIS Health.com)

Distribution Deadline Nears for Medicare Part D Notices
Excerpt: "Just a reminder that the deadline is Nov. 15, 2010 to distribute the annual Notice of Creditable Coverage required under Medicare Part D."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

'Grandfathered' Health Plans: To Stay or Not (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This policy brief . . . examines what grandfathered plans mean, and explores just how much a grandfathered plan may change over time and still retain its grandfathered status . . . . The authors conclude that there are no clear indicators about whether sticking with a grandfathered plan is the best option -- and therefore these decisions must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis."
(Health Affairs via Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
How Health Care Reform Adversely Impacts Executive Health Care and COBRA Subsidy Arrangements
Excerpt: "Employer-provided COBRA, other medical subsidies, and perquisites affecting medical care are common components of many executive employment and severance agreements. However, . . . many of these arrangements will not comply with the nondiscrimination requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . . . ."
(Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

[Guidance Overview]
SEC's Proposed Rules on Say-on-Pay (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The new votes on executive compensation will be required in proxy statements for shareholder meetings that take place on or after January 21, 2011, regardless of whether the SEC issues final rules by that time, but the vote on golden parachutes will not be required until after the SEC issues final rules.'
(Buck Consultants)

An Analysis of the Accounting Considerations Unique to Nonqualified Plans (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "This article examines a major plan change and the context that is unique to nonqualified plans. With many companies changing their primary company sponsored retirement vehicle from a defined benefit structure to a defined contribution structure, we discuss the tax, accounting, regulatory and design factors that should be considered and evaluated in order to design and implement necessary changes in a nonqualified plan."
(Aon Hewitt)

Crowdsourcing Employee-Benefits Options
Excerpt: "Soliciting employee opinions is one thing, but offering employees actual decision-making power on employee benefits could give employers and their HR leaders the ability to craft more popular programs and, in turn, boost employee-satisfaction levels."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Employers not More Generous This Holiday Season
Excerpt: "For eight of the past 10 years, gift certificates for food items have been the leading Thanksgiving gift and 2010 is no exception, the survey found. Seven percent of surveyed employers will be giving employees gift certificates this Thanksgiving, "
(PLANSPONSOR.com)


Webcasts and Conferences

Health Reform for Non-Major Medical Plans: Special Issues for Health FSAs, HRAs, and Others
Nationwide on December 2, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Meeting Today's Challenges in Social Security, Health Reform, and Unemployment Insurance
in District of Columbia on January 27, 2011
presented by National Academy of Social Insurance


Press Releases

ASPPA Issues Comment On Rule 12b-2
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

RPAG's "Knowledge Center" Gets a Makeover
Retirement Plan Advisory Group


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator
for First Savings
in PA

Account Manager
for Freedom One Financial Group
in MI

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Third Party/Employee Benefits Administrator
in AL

Benefits Consultant
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

ERISA Consultant
for Pension-Consultants, Inc.
in MO

Internal Sales-Senior Consultant
for BeneTrends, Inc.
in PA




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