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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 31, 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. www.HBCE.com Phone 941-484-1430 or Email: info@HBCE.com

[Guidance Overview]
DOL/HHS Joint Guidance under the Affordable Care Act and MHPAEA
Excerpt: "The guidance -- which is in the form of Frequently Asked Questions [ -- is the fifth in a series of FAQs issued on the Department of Labor's website.] While the prior FAQs were limited to issues arising under the Affordable Care Act, this FAQ also tackles questions under MHPAEA. This client alert summarizes the important features of this latest guidance . . . ."
(Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

[Guidance Overview]
More Guidance for Health Reform Implementation (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Coverage of adult children can conform to adult coverage[:] The FAQs confirm that a plan may make distinctions based upon age that apply to all coverage under the plan. In FAQ #5, the three agencies stated that a plan does not violate PPACA when it imposes copayments on all individuals ages 19 and older (including employees, spouses and adult children) but waives copayments for children under age 19."
(Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Resolves ERISA Issue Over Disability Benefits
Excerpt: "Where a plan subject to ERISA gives the administrator discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits, the Court applies an abuse-of-discretion standard to the denial of a benefits claim. Here, because the insurer's interpretation of the plan was both a uniform construction and a fair reading, it was legally correct. Thus, the insurer did not abuse its discretion when it denied the disability claim. The Court affirmed the summary judgment."
(IPD Group, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
Tax Bill Includes Employment-Related Provisions
Excerpt: "The headline-grabbing provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 . . . include extending current marginal income tax rates through 2012 and providing another year of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. But the bill, which President Obama signed into law on December 17, also includes a number of important employment-related provisions."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Transportation Benefit Limits Unchanged for 2011
Excerpt: "Monthly exclusion amounts may not be combined to reimburse transportation fringe benefits for any month in an amount that exceeds the monthly statutory limit for that benefit."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Analysis: What Chance of Repealing Health Care Reform in the New Congress?
Excerpt: "The new law is called by the encyclopedic title Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act. The White House and Republican leadership called the Act a prototype for future compromises, foreshadowing a new era of bipartisan actions."
(Alvin D. Lurie, Esq. via BenefitsLink.com)

BLS Looks at Employer-Provided Life and Disability Benefits (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Fifty-six percent of all private industry employees . . . participated in employer-provided life insurance plans in March 2010. . . . Thirty-eight percent of private industry employees participated in short-term disability insurance plans, and 31 percent had long-term disability insurance protection."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Obama Signs Extension of Health Insurance Tax Credit
Excerpt: "President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that extends by six weeks a federal tax credit for health insurance premiums, such as COBRA coverage, for workers who lose their jobs due to foreign competition and older retirees in failed pension plans."
(Business Insurance)




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]
IRS Guidance on Unforeseeable Emergency Distributions from 409A and 457(b) Plans
Excerpt: "IRS has released Revenue Ruling 2010-27, which contains examples of expenses that may be eligible for an unforeseeable emergency distribution from deferred compensation plans that are subject to Section 409A or Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code."
(McGuireWoods LLP)


Press Releases


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

DC Plan Administrator/Consultant
for IPA Northeast, LLC
in NJ

Senior Pension Administrator
for AFC Pensions, Inc. (formerly American Fiduciary Corporation)
in MA




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