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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 4, 2011

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Sessions by: Walmart, 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 Form M-1: Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and Certain Entities (PDF)
47 pages. Excerpt: "This package contains the following form and related instructions: Form M-1; Instructions; Self-Compliance Tool."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Guidance Overview]
Compliance with External Review Requirements
Excerpt: "The new group health plan external review requirements require analysis on several levels. Some of the more obvious issues involve whether the external review requirements apply, and if so, whether state or federal external review requirements will apply. [T]hese issues are just the beginning of the analysis."
(Roy Harmon III via Health Plan Law)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Updated Version of Publication 521 on Moving Expenses
Excerpt: "The types of moving expenses that can be provided tax-free are limited, but some employers go further and reimburse a broader array of moving expenses, resulting in taxable income for employees. Publication 521 provides a brief overview of some of the choices available to employers when designing moving expense benefits for employees, but its main purpose is to help individuals determine which of their moving expenses may qualify for a deduction and how to account for any employer reimbursements."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

California Health Insurers Ordered to Spend at Least 80% of Revenue on Medical Claims
Excerpt: "California's new insurance commissioner sought Monday to force health insurers to spend more of their revenue on medical care. In his first official act, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones ordered emergency regulations requiring insurance companies to devote at least 80% of their income to policyholders' claims in the state's individual insurance market."
(Los Angeles Times)

January 12 Is the Date for Health Law Repeal Vote
Excerpt: "It'll be a symbolic move, since Democrats still control the Senate and the White House, but an important one for House Republicans who want to express their discontent with the overhaul passed last March."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Facebook Joins Employers Extending Domestic Partner Tax Benefit
Excerpt: "The Facebook social media giant is the latest in a string of employers to cover the extra taxes imposed on g.ay employees with domestic partners for the value of their partners' employer-provided health coverage."

Large Percentage of Employers Expect Health Reform Law Will Further Increase Their Health Costs
Excerpt: "A Business Insurance news story about the survey it co-sponsored with the National Business Coalition on Health said 42% of large employers - with more than 500 employees - expect cost increases in the range of 2% to 5% from the health care reform law. Some 16% expect cost increases in the range of 6% to 10%, while 11% of large employers expect the law to boost costs less than 1%."

Legislation Extends the Health Coverage Tax Credit
Excerpt: "The Act generally extends the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act . . . provisions that made changes to the HCTC, including an increase in the HCTC tax credit from 65% to 80%."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

After Bariatric Surgery, the Out-of-Pocket Bills Can Pile Up
Excerpt: "Indeed, many bariatric patients . . . discover that there are unexpected expenses associated with weight loss surgery. High co-payments, nutritional and behavioral counseling and cosmetic surgery, for example, can easily add up to thousands of dollars, mostly out of patients' pockets."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

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 Notice 2011-2 Provides Interim Guidance on PPACA's Limitation on Deduction of Compensation Paid by Health Insurance Providers
3 pages. Excerpt: "Notice 2011-2 is effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010. The IRS anticipates incorporating this guidance into regulations. Any future guidance that would expand the coverage of Section 162(m)(6) will apply prospectively."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

Employee Ownership Update for January 3, 2011
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the following: One of the most comprehensive and convincing studies to date on the effect of broad-based stock options on company performance was released in November. The DOL will hold a hearing on the proposed rule amending the definition of 'fiduciary' and defining ESOP appraisers as fiduciaries. has a valuable analysis of the new tax law's effect on equity compensation. You can get a free ShareComp conference registration. (National Center for Employee Ownership

IRS's 2011 Version of Publication 15-B: Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits
Excerpt: "Publication 15-B, which is a supplement to IRS Publication 15 (more commonly known as Circular E), is a useful reference for employers on the tax treatment of fringe benefits. But it is important to remember that this publication does not provide full coverage of the many rules applicable to the fringe benefits it summarizes. Instead, Publication 15-B refers readers to other IRS publications, guidance, and websites for more detailed coverage of certain aspects of these fringe benefits."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Webcasts and Conferences

"Best of the 2010 IRS Q&A's" Web Seminar - Rescheduled for 1/25/2011
Nationwide on January 25, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Distributions and Taxation" Web Seminar - Rescheduled to 2/15/2011
Nationwide on February 15, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Earned Income: Computing Compensation for the Self-employed" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 1, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERPA Test Review - Part 1" Web Seminar, A 3-part program
Nationwide on January 5, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERPA Test Review - Part 2" Web Seminar, A 3-part program
Nationwide on January 12, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Good News on PTINs: What It Means and What's Left" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 18, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Multiple Employer Plans: Perils and Possibilities" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 11, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees Workshop: Navigating the Maze" - January-February 2011, 18 Cities
Nationwide on January 20, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

13th Annual Advanced Cafeteria Plans Conference 2011
in Minnesota on July 20, 2011
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Press Releases

PBGC, Motorola Agree on $100 Million in Pension Protection
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

ASPPA Welcomes IRS Clarification on PTIN Registration Requirements
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Plan Consultant
for Scholz, Klein & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in TX

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, P.A.
in FL

Sr. Client Employee Benefit Advisor
for Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP
in CA

Calculation Engine Analyst
for J.P. Morgan
in IL, MO, TX

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