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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 18, 2010

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Health Savings Account Answer Book answers over 600 questions in a format that's quick and easy to use. It tells you virtually everything you have to know to profit from HSAs - from how they work, what they offer participants, and how they can benefit employers to helping you determine how well they will fit your company or clients. It answers key questions on all aspects of HSA establishment, administration, and compliance - including rules and penalties, medical coverage, contributions and deductions, distributions, rollovers and transfers, and more.
Sponsored by Aspen Publishers

[Guidance Overview]
CMS Delays Mandatory Liability Claims Reporting
Excerpt: "The announcement is not the first time the U.S. government agency has delayed implementing Medicare Secondary Payer reporting requirements."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview]
EEOC's Final GINA Regulations
Excerpt: "Employers that ask employees to complete health risk assessments as part of a wellness program should identify those questions that seek genetic information and should make clear that employees need not respond to those questions in order to receive any offered financial incentive."
(Pepper Hamilton LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
What Notices Are Required by PPACA?
Excerpt: "What notices are required to be provided related to enrollment? Plans must provide notice for two special enrollment events: (1) for adult children under age 26; and (2) for individuals who previously reached an overall lifetime maximum."

Impact of the FMLA on an Employee's Infertility Treatments
Excerpt: "It is still an open question whether the FMLA covers infertility treatments because the statute itself and applicable regulations do not specifically address the issue."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Variation in Public Opinion About Health Reform, by Plan Type: Findings from a Survey (PDF)
Pages 13-19 of 20 pages. Excerpt: "The 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey finds that relatively few people with private health insurance consider themselves knowledgeable about the PPACA . . . ."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Most Employers Will Continue Health Insurance Benefits After Insurance Exchanges Take Effect in 2014
Excerpt: "Just 6% of large employers with at least 500 employees, but 20% of small employers with fewer than 500 employees, said that they are likely to drop their health plans after the health insurance exchanges become available."
(Wolters Kluwer)

How Health Insurance Design Affects Access to Care and Costs, by Income, in Eleven Countries
Excerpt: "This 2010 survey examines the insurance-related experiences of adults in Australia, (Can.ada), France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom."
(Health Affairs)

Average Health Insurance Deductible is Now $1,200, According to Survey
Excerpt: "[I]n 2010, the average deductible for PPOs, the most common employer-provider health plan, hit a whopping $1,200, according to a Mercer survey of 2,836 employers with 10 or more employees."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Brief on Medical Loss Ratios Updated November 17, 2010
Excerpt: "[I]t's sometimes difficult to determine what a health service is and what an administrative expense is. For example, if a health insurer employs nurses to remind chronically ill patients to take their medications, is that a medical cost or an administrative expense?"
(Health Affairs)

An employer writes:

"I have to tell you that of all the job boards Iíve ever used, this one has the best quality of candidates. I donít get flooded with tons of resumes, and even the candidates who arenít fit for the jobs we have donít miss the mark by much."

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
SEC Proposal of Rules on Say-on-Pay and Golden Parachutes
Excerpt: "Pending the adoption of final rules, the SEC has stated it will not object if issuers do not file proxy material in preliminary form if the only matters that would otherwise require a preliminary proxy statement are the say-on-pay vote and frequency of say-on-pay vote."
(Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Reporting Under IRS §6039 Coming (PDF)
Excerpt: "After several waivers by the [IRS], regulations under §6039 of the Internal Revenue Code are now effective for 2010 Incentive Stock Option . . . and Employee Stock Purchase Plan . . . transactions."
(Kelly, Hannaford & Battles P.A.)

Feds Probe 2007 Chicago Tribune Employee Stock Plan
Excerpt: "Federal authorities are taking a closer look at the stock transfer at the heart of billionaire Sam Zell's disastrous leveraged buyout of Tribune Co., after a U.S. District Court last week determined a portion of the 2007 deal was a 'prohibited transaction' under federal law."
(Chicago Tribune)

Company-Sponsored Holiday Events Stage a Comeback
Excerpt: "After two years of cutbacks, layoffs, bailouts and outright bankruptcies, the return of this annual ritual signals that corporate managers are more confident about business prospects and feel a need to invest again in morale, reward and recognition."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)

Majority of Executives Say Holiday Office Party Worth the Cost, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Nearly one-quarter (24%) of respondents disagreed, and an equal number said their firms don't have holiday celebrations."

Restoring America's Future (PDF)
140 pages. Excerpt: "We offer this plan as proof that a group of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents can work together to create a balanced package of spending cuts and revenue increases that solves the debt crisis. Other groups might prefer other combinations of policies to reach the same ends. We created this plan to show that it can be done - and thereby encourage others from both political parties to bring their ideas to a constructive, respectful, and ultimately successful dialogue. [The executive summary document is at and the presentation slides are at]"
(Bipartisan Policy Center / The Debt Reduction Task Force via American Benefits Council)

The 'Big Three' VEBAs and Other Stand-Alone Welfare Benefit Trusts: What Is and Is Not Novel about Them
Excerpt: "The article emphasizes that what is innovative about the Big Three retiree benefit trusts is not the fact that they are VEBAs - a form of tax-exempt trust that has been routinely used to pre-fund benefit obligations for many decades - but rather that in these cases the trusts have assumed, from the employer, the legal liability for benefit obligations to plan participants."
(Social Science Research Network)

Webcasts and Conferences

DOL Fee Disclosure Rules: What Plan Fiduciaries Must Hear from Service Providers and What They Must Tell Participants
Nationwide on November 30, 2010
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

P&I East Coast Defined Contribution Conference
in Florida on March 13, 2011
presented by Pensions & Investments

Press Releases

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director of Daily Valuation Operations
for Associates in Excellence
in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for A Leading National TPA in the Mid-Atlantic Region
in PA

Health Benefits Analyst
for The Segal Co.
in AZ

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