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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 16, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Virginia Court Finds Health Care Insurance Mandates Unconstitutional (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "[The Judge of the U.S. District Court] ruled in favor of the state's constitutional challenge to Section 1501 of the federal health reform law, otherwise known as the 'Minimum Essential Coverage Provision,' which requires that almost every U.S. citizen maintain a minimum level of health insurance coverage starting in 2014."
(Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Medical Loss Ratio Interim Final Rule to Take Effect January 1, 2011 (PDF)
14 pages. Excerpt: "This advisory provides a brief overview of the [interim final rule], followed by a general summary of key provisions and a discussion of potential implications of the rule."
(Alston & Bird LLP)

Chart Updated: A Progress Report on G.ay Employee Health Benefits
Excerpt: "While many companies offer domestic partnership coverage -- an important benefit on its own since same-s.ex couples' unions are not recognized by the federal government -- some pioneering organizations are extending an even more generous policy. They're essentially reimbursing g.ay employees for the extra taxes they may incur as a result of that coverage, something that married heterosexual people don't have to worry about."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

State of Working America Preview: A Staggering Rise in Health Insurance Costs
Excerpt: "Family health insurance premiums more than doubled between 1999 and 2009, far outpacing the growth in workers' earnings and overall inflation."
(Economic Policy Institute)

States with Active Premium Rate Review Processes Experience Lower Premium Requests Filed by Insurers
Excerpt: "In the study, Rate Review: Spotlight on State Efforts to Make Health Insurance More Affordable, Kaiser surveyed all 50 state's rate review statutes . . . . Kaiser found that states with an active premium rate review process experienced lower premium requests filed by insurers."
(Wolters Kluwer)

California Employer Health Benefits Survey 2010
Excerpt: "This annual survey, part of CHCF's California Health Care Almanac, shows how premiums and benefit design have changed over time. Key findings from the 2010 survey include: Since 2002, premiums have increased 134.4%, more than five times the 24.5% rise in California's overall inflation rate."
(California HealthCare Foundation)




Sessions by: Whirlpool, Office Depot, State of Missouri, INTEL, Time Warner, Inc., CDC (DHHS), St. Louis Co., Manatee Schools, City of Clearwater, Univ of Michigan, Mayo Clinic, Pinellas Co., St.Johns Schools, Quad Graphics/Quad Med, Athens-Clarke Co., City of Sarasota, Univ. of Iowa, Natíl Business Group on Health, Ironworkers Funds, Univ. of South Florida, Workers Comp Research Institute, Univ. of Minnesota, NCH Healthcare System, Update on Health Reform...and more sessions. Best Value in Health Benefits Continuing Education (HBCE) - highest quality and modest registration: $275 - $345. SHRM and other CE credits. www.HBCE.com Phone 941-484-1430 or Email: info@HBCE.com

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Correcting Document Failures for Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Code Section 409A
Excerpt: "Deficient plan documents that are corrected under the program by December 31, 2010 may enable affected plan participants to avoid adverse tax consequences, provided that any resulting operational failures are corrected."
(Troutman Sanders LLP)

How Employers Are Faring Under Barack Obama: An Update on Federal Proposals that Would Affect the Workplace
Excerpt: "The three most significant legislative proposals that many expected to pass in 2009 were identified in a previous article in this journal: The Employee Free Choice Act, Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Trade-Workers Act, and the Healthy Families Act. In a follow-up this article examines why these Acts have thus far failed to become law and whether they are likely to pass in the future, and in addition examines the Paycheck Fairness Act which is predicted to become law during this session of Congress."
(HR Advisor via Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)

HR Leaders Voice Expectations in Terms of New Trends and Developments in 2011
Excerpt: "On the legislative front, HR leaders should pay attention to the recently announced findings of President Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission, which call for increasing the age of Social Security eligibility to 69 by 2075 and curtailing the tax-favored status of contributions to employer-sponsored pension and healthcare plans, says Mike Aitken, director of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

BLS to Publish: 'Zooming in on Compensation Data: A Guide to BLS Data for Human Resources Professionals'
Excerpt: "The guide is a reference document that provides brief explanations of various BLS surveys, with charts that display the data graphically. Included in the booklet are separate sections for wage and salary administrators, benefit administrators, wage and contract administrators, as well as information on the 21st century workforce, other BLS data, and survey participation."
(PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Employee Ownership Update for December 15, 2010
Corey Rosen discusses the following: The deficit commission's suggested changes to retirement plans could affect ESOPs. The NCEO responded to the DOL's proposal to define ESOP appraisers as plan fiduciaries. Give your colleagues the ideas in '12 Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP.' One performance award type may work well for private companies. Employee ownership fellowships are available at Rutgers. Self-nominations are available for the Winning Workplaces awards. The NCEO has a job opening. (The National Center for Employee Ownership
(NCEO))


Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Charlotte
in North Carolina on January 11, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- San Francisco
in California on January 18, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon


Press Releases


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Sales Representative
for Pentegra Retirement Services
in ANY STATE, CO, KS, ND, NM, OK, SD, TX

Pension Manager
for SS&G
in OH

Senior Compliance Manager
for Capital Group Companies
in CA

Senior Retirement Plan Manager
for Chemung Canal Trust Company
in NY




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