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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 17, 2010

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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. Phone 941-484-1430 or Email:

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-94: Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This guidance is intended to provide relief to mass transit providers that have been unable to update their systems in order to comply with the Revenue Ruling guidelines prior to the current effective date of January 1, 2011. The effective date of Revenue Ruling 2006-57 is further delayed until January 1, 2012."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Medicare Reporting Requirement Postponed: What You Need To Know
Excerpt: "The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently postponed until next year its requirement that certain employers (who are at least partially self-insured) and liability insurers report to CMS any one-time or lump sum payments to persons entitled to Medicare benefits in connection with settlements, judgments or awards involving the release of potential liability for medical expenses."
(The Employment Law Authority via Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.)

Tracking State Efforts to Develop Strategies, Timelines and Action Plans for Implementing Federal Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "States are developing strategies, timelines and action plans for implementing the Affordable Care Act as well as conducting analysis on the impact that the Act will have on state programs and budgets. The following reports, research papers, fiscal analysis, web-sites, timelines and presentations provide an insight into the work being done to prepare for and implement the Affordable Care Act."
(National Conference of State Legislatures)

Maternal Depression: What Employers Need to Know and What They Can Do (PDF)
22 pages. Excerpt: "This Issue Brief provides an overview of the spectrum of conditions associated with maternal depression, including risk factors, preventive and treatment measures and potential impacts on the infant. It also discusses why some population groups are more susceptible to maternal depression than others. Of particular interest to employers is a summary of the costs associated with this condition and suggestions about how employers can address the problem proactively -- by working with their vendors and developing internal policies and programs to address maternal depression in the workforce."
(National Business Group on Health)

Reform's Impact on Drug Pricing May Vary from Congressional Budget Office's Analysis
Excerpt: "A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the health reform law's effects on prescription drug pricing has some questionable assumptions, claims one expert. And those suppositions could gloss over the possibility of commercial payers being hit with increased drug costs, particularly for specialty drugs."

Federal Work/Life Programs: Agencies Generally Satisfied with OPM Assistance, but More Tracking and Information Sharing Needed
Excerpt: "As requested, GAO determined the extent to which: (1) OPM provides assistance and guidance to federal agencies for establishing and enhancing work/life programs; (2) OPM or the federal agencies track, evaluate, or modify work/life programs; and (3) OPM has identified leading practices in the private sector for the implementation of work/life programs and shared this information with federal agencies."
(U.S. Government Accountability Office)

National Business Group on Health Launches Multi-Year Initiative to Help Employers Address Cancer in the Workplace
Excerpt: "An NBGH news release said the three-year project, which is being conducted in collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network will result in a series of resources and tools for large employers, including an Employer's Guide to Cancer Treatment and Prevention."

Who Are the Uninsured Eligible for Premium Subsidies in the Health Insurance Exchanges?
Excerpt: "[A]bout one-third of uninsured people eligible for subsidies have had no recent problems with their health, access to medical care or paying medical bills. Enrolling these apparently healthy uninsured people is likely to be challenging but essential to avoiding adverse selection, or enrolling sicker-than-average people, in the exchanges. Otherwise, health insurance costs in the exchanges could be higher than expected."
(Center for Studying Health System Change)

The President's New Initiative on Quality Health Care Deserves Support
Excerpt: "The new 10-year, $10 bil.lion initiative [under health care reform] seeks to boost the quality of medical care, eliminate mistakes, improve efficiency and transfer the proven techniques of quality control management from the factories and service-processing industries to the health-care sector."

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-94: Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This guidance is intended to provide relief to mass transit providers that have been unable to update their systems in order to comply with the Revenue Ruling guidelines prior to the current effective date of January 1, 2011. The effective date of Revenue Ruling 2006-57 is further delayed until January 1, 2012."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Expansion of Relief for Section 409A Document Corrections
Excerpt: "The new guidance expands the correction program for document failures and provides relief from certain information reporting requirements under both correction programs."
(McGuireWoods LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
After Two Years of Decline IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rates
Excerpt: "The increase for 2011 follows two earlier years of decline, in 2009 and 2010. The Notice also includes a request for comments on whether taxpayers should be permitted to use the business standard mileage rate for automobiles used in fleet operations."
(Deloitte via

Loans to Executives Get More Attention from IRS
Excerpt: "In its work plan for fiscal year 2011, the IRS Exempt Organizations unit discussed the results of its 2004 executive compensation project, released in 2007, in which it found improper reporting and excess benefits in a significant number of instances that, the IRS said, raised concerns about substantial loans to officers, directors, trustees, and key employees."
(Tax Management Inc.)

Labor-Relations Strategies to Cut Benefits Costs
Excerpt: "In the last Governing Management letter, I outlined several key policy strategies for elected officials to pursue in their quest to reform public retirement systems. Before the New Year begins, it's time for public managers to set their strategies for achieving these policy objectives and mitigating the ever-rising costs of retirement plan benefits. This column provides a roadmap."

Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Indianapolis
in Indiana on January 20, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Kansas City
in Kansas on January 25, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

Tax Legislation Passes - Complimentary Webcast Today
Nationwide on December 17, 2010
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Press Releases

Good News for 401(k) Plans, Just in Time for the Holidays
Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA)

401(k) Holdings in Company Stock Continued to Shrink in 2009
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

The Grinch Who Stole Pensions
Atessa Benefits, Inc.

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Manager Client Services
for ExpertPlan, Inc.
in NJ

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