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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 11, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
More Clarification on Grandfathered Health Plans
Excerpt: "The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services prepared a set of FAQs in response to questions raised by plan sponsors and policy issuers regarding certain 'market reform' requirement of the Affordable Care Act."
(Deloitte via

HealthCare.Gov Site Now Includes Comparative Plan Data
Excerpt: "HealthCare.Gov now includes comparative data -- premiums, annual deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, and other information -- on the health plans available to consumers within a particular zip code."
(Deloitte via

Nobody's Using Their Health Insurance, but HMOs Aren't Offering Refunds
Excerpt: "'A key theme this year has been the broad-based slowdown in health care volumes (e.g., fewer physician visits, lab tests, and elective procedures),' writes Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Borsch. It's been a bad year for drug companies, hospitals, and device makers. But the flip side is that HMOs have had to pay fewer claims."

Moms-to-Be Often Fret About Meshing Work and Pregnancy
Excerpt: "Another reason working women may feel extra stress while pregnant is that they simply can't afford to be away from work. Companies have trimmed maternity leave benefits -- or eliminated them -- as they seek to trim costly employee benefits."

An employer writes:

"I have to tell you that of all the job boards I've ever used, this one has the best quality of candidates. I don't get flooded with tons of resumes, and even the candidates who aren't fit for the jobs we have don't miss the mark by much."

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
USERRA Coverage May Be Triggered Prior to Formal Military Orders, Court Says
Excerpt: "This case makes two important points for employers. First, protection under the USERRA can be triggered at any point in time in which an employer has information about the employee's military status on which discriminatory treatment may be based - and that formal military orders are not always required to trigger those protections."
(Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.)

Deficit Panel Puts Social Security, Mortgage Deduction on Table
Excerpt: "Get ready for the political firestorm. Get ready for the political firestorm. The panel's recommendations include doing away with popular tax-deductions and credits, like . . . the deductions companies get for providing health insurance."
(The Bryant Park Project via National Public Radio)

Deficit Panel Targets Social Security and Taxes
Excerpt: "The two heads of the commission called for reducing benefits and raising the retirement age for the Social Security retirement pension program, as well as setting limits on the popular Medicare program . . . ."
(New York Times)

Deficit Panel Proposes Curbs on Social Security
Excerpt: "They presented the document during a closed-door meeting of the 18-member commission, which is due to make recommendations by Dec. 1 for reining in record budget deficits."

Population Aging: Its Not Just The Baby Boom
Excerpt: "[T]he baby boom is not the reason for the aging of the population; the aging is the result of long-term trends of increasing longevity and declining fertility. The bust/boom/bust pattern in fertility rates that resulted in the baby boom simply changes the path to an older society."
(Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Accounting for Pensions and Other Postretirement Benefits, 2010
Excerpt: "In this report, Towers Watson analyzes disclosures for fiscal year . . . 2009 under U.S. GAAP."
(Towers Watson)

Deficit Reduction Proposal Brings Some Fiscal Reality
Excerpt: "[I]t does what any successful deficit reduction plan must do: It puts everything on the table, including tax reform to raise revenue and cuts in spending on health care and defense. It even dares to mention the need to find significant savings in Social Security, Medicare and other mandatory programs. "
(New York Times)

Press Releases

ASPPA Urges Congress To Protect Retirement Incentives
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PlanTech, LLP
in AL

Senior Plan Consultant
for BPA, A BPAS Company
in PA

Manager, Retirement Services
for The Newport Group
in NC

Account Manager - Retirement & Benefits
for Wolters Kluwer - Law & Business

ERISA Compliance Specialist
for Medcom

Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for Consulting Actuaries Incorporated
in NJ

Regional Sales Director
for Medcom

Inside Sales Director
for Medcom

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