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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 10, 2010

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P&I Retirement Plan Connections Online Conference - Thursday, January 27
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]
Health Care Reform After 2011 (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "This update summarizes the current provisions of the Reform Legislation that become effective after 2011. Employers should keep these requirements in mind as they make plan design decisions over the next several years."
(Thompson Hine)

[Guidance Overview]
Fiduciary Duties Not Implicated In Managed Care Rate Negotiations
Excerpt: "This unpublished Sixth Circuit opinion spotlights a business practice that rarely gets such close scrutiny. A Blue Cross subsidiary failed to meet its profitability numbers which inspired the idea to lower its reimbursement rates."
(Roy Harmon III via Health Plan Law)

Health Reform Law Has Far-Reaching Impact on Compliance World
Excerpt: "The health reform law has 32 sections on health care fraud and abuse and program integrity, and its impact on provider operations is starting to be felt."
(AIS Health.com)

America Under the Affordable Care Act
Excerpt: "Using the Urban Institute's Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model . . ., the authors estimate how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would affect health insurance coverage and spending on acute care for the nonelderly."
(Urban Institute)

Important Health Benefit Administration Dates to Remember
Excerpt: "[This] checklist provides insurance agents/brokers, employers and benefits and payroll professionals a checklist of key upcoming dates and deadlines related to health benefits. This reminder list does not constitute all of the deadlines applicable to employers and some deadlines may be different based on variations in plan year or plan design."
(Infinisource)

FSA Plans Ease the Pain of Health Care Costs
Excerpt: "Health care costs are not going away. One simple option employees have to pay for these costs on a pre-tax basis is through an employer-sponsored Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Employers get in on the savings, too. While this option may be simple, the administration is far from easy."
(Infinisource)

New Rules Spell Out Protections for Consumers with 'Limited Benefit' Insurance Policies
Excerpt: "In addition to information on caps, other dollar limits in the policies - such as restrictions on the amount of physician office care or hospitalization coverage - must be detailed in letters and enrollment materials . . . ."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Text of DOL Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiff in Health Plan Fiduciary Breach Damages Case
Excerpt: "In explaining why affording Ms. Kenseth such remedy in the circumstances of this case is both good law and good policy, the Secretary, as amicus curiae, seeks to assure that ERISA continues to provide remedies commensurate with the rights it confers on plan participants who have been wronged by a plan fiduciary's breach of fiduciary duty.'
(U.S. Department of Labor)




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Our subscribers care about employee benefit plan compliance, administration, costs and design. Roles include in-house benefits directors and administrators, TPAs, consultants, attorneys, trust officers, auditors and investment managers.

Call Mary Hall for details at 262-797-6380, or reach her at maryhall@benefitslink.com


Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of Brief of Secretary of Labor As Amicus Curiae Supporting Appellants In re: 1POINT SOLUTION, LLC
Excerpt: "Statement Of The Issues: Whether a bankrup.tcy trustee, who also is an ERISA fiduciary, has standing to bring an ERISA action on behalf of plan participants against a former fiduciary of an employee benefit plan. Whether the defense of in pari delicto can be asserted against an innocent ERISA fiduciary seeking to remedy a fiduciary breach caused by the defendant fiduciary."
(U.S. Department of Labor)

Executives Keep Health Perks As Workers' Benefits Dwindle
Excerpt: "Hundreds of top corporate managers get medical benefits and supplemental coverage far beyond what's offered to rank-and-file employees. Benefits include 'executive' physicals and reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and co-payments, according to corporate filings."
(USA TODAY)

Monthly Benefit News & Developments, December 2010 (PDF)
2 pages. The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee benefits and upcoming key dates.
(Milliman, Inc.)

Florida Lawmakers Weigh Changing State Employee Health and Pension Accounts
Excerpt: "Scaling back benefits for current employees working in state agencies, city and county governments and school districts, along with the powerful unions that represent them, will be a 'complex, heavy lift,' . . . . Florida's health insurance trust fund is facing a $275 mil.lion deficit next year, and another $583 mil.lion shortfall in 2014, while the state employee pension account faces an unfunded liability estimated at $304 mil.lion this year."
(The Miami Herald)

Report Reveals Florida's Dramatic Shift in Favor of G.ay Equal Rights
Excerpt: "Florida now ranks among the top five states in the nation in protecting g.ay, les.bian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination, according to a report released today by the statewide civil rights group Equality Florida."
(The Miami Herald)

Obama Signs Bill for Increased Federal Employee Teleworking
Excerpt: "The Telework Enhancement Act requires agencies to determine within six months which employees are eligible to telework, notify them and set a policy for them to telework."
(Gannett Government Media Corporation)


Webcasts and Conferences

COBRA Compliance Seminar
in California on January 25, 2011
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Health Plan Nondiscrimination Testing After Health Care Reform
Nationwide on December 20, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Press Releases


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director of Participant Experience
for New York Life
in MA

Retirement Plan Account Executive
for Principal Financial Group
in OH

VP, Institutional Sales
for Prudential
in IL




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