IRS Explanation on When Gym Fees Will Qualify as Medical Care Expenses
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: While this information letter discusses the medical expense deduction, its analysis may also help plan administrators determine whether gym fees are reimbursable under a health FSA and HRA, or may help an individual determine whether the fees may be paid from an HSA on a tax-free basis."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)
Health Care Reform FAQs on Grandfathered Health Plans and Lifetime Limits
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: We are not sure that the reformulation of the rule in Q/A-1 provides much clarification. The regulation in question requires a statement about grandfather status 'in any plan materials provided to a participant or beneficiary describing the benefits provided under the plan or health insurance coverage.'"
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)
TRICARE Providers Are Federal Subcontractors, Says Judge
Excerpt: "In a decision that could expand the jurisdiction of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs over health care providers, an administrative law judge with the U.S. Department of Labor has held that a hospital that subcontracted to provide medical services to TRICARE beneficiaries is a federal subcontractor subject to the affirmative action laws."
(Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)
SHRM Poll Finds Paid Holiday Totals Same for 2011 as for 2010
Excerpt: "A news release from the Society for Human Resource Management . . . said 97% of organizations offer one or more paid holidays per year. Thanksgiving Day (97%), New Year's Day and Independence Day (both 96%), Labor Day (95%), Memorial Day (95%), and Christmas Day (94%) are the holidays that organizations overwhelmingly plan to observe in 2011."
AARP Shifts Health Plan Costs to Avoid 'Cadillac Plan' Tax
Excerpt: "Lobbying organization AARP has announced an 8%-hike in employee health insurance costs to 13% - in part, it says, because of the health care reform law. An Associated Press news report said AARP is also reshuffling its copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40% 'Cadillac Plan' tax on high-cost health plans taking effect in 2018 under the law."
Employers Struggle with Increasing Costs to Insure Workers
Excerpt: "[However, a] 'company that keeps its health plans relatively unchanged by retaining the same insurance carrier and passing on no more than minimal cost increases to employees could be exempt from many of the law's changes -- such as the elimination of co-payments for dozens of preventive services'"
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
More Physicians Working for Hospitals Rather Than Hanging a Shingle
Excerpt: "The latest sign of the continued shift comes from a large Medical Group Management Association survey, which found that the share of responding practices that were hospital-owned last year hit 55%, up from 50% in 2008 and around 30% five years earlier."
(The Wall Street Journal)
U.S. Watching Massachusetts Fight to Contain Health Costs
Excerpt: "As the governor's lieutenants draft a bill on payment overhaul to submit to the Legislature in January, representatives of medical care providers, insurers, employers, and consumers met yesterday to try to craft a workable cost-control plan."
(The Boston Globe)
Benefits in General; Executive Compensation
Employers Addressing Bedbug Problems
Excerpt: "Amid growing concerns about commercial bedbug infestations -- particularly in New York, where the bloodsuckers have been reported in retail stores, movie theaters and office buildings -- employers need to know what to look for and how to react when potential problems arise, experts say."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)
Las Vegas, Nevada, Police Contract Finally Reveals Hidden Benefits
Excerpt: "[S]even executives of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, who work nights and weekends only when necessary and who are not essential in protecting the public, for years have received both assignment pay and shift pay. Although they are paid at public expense, the arrangement was never publicly disclosed until written into the last police employee contract, and then only partially."
(Las Vegas Review-Journal)
How Will the 2010 Mid-Term Election Results Impact Employers?
Excerpt: "In the wake of victories that allowed Republicans to take control of the House and gain influence in the Senate, many businesses hope to see reforms of what they view as the anti-business policies of the Obama administration."
(Ford & Harrison LLP)
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