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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 3, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Official Guidance]
Text of DOL's McCravy Amicus Brief, in Support of Petition for Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc
"As CIGNA now makes clear, appropriate equitable relief under ERISA section 502(a)(3) includes relief that makes injured participants and beneficiaries whole and thus permits the court to surcharge MetLife for the insurance proceeds that McCravy would have received but for the alleged breaches of fiduciary duty." (U.S. Department of Labor)

[Guidance Overview]
Some Cafeteria Plans Must Be Amended by June 30 (PDF)
"Cafeteria plans that have not yet been amended could be amended by adopting the following amendment: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, expenses incurred after December 31, 2010 for drugs or medicine (other than insulin) are eligible for reimbursement only if accompanied by a prescription." (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Request for Comments on PPACA's Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions (PDF)
"The [IRS] issued Notice 2011-36, a request for comments on PPACA's shared employer responsibility provisions which will become effective in 2014. The Notice, while not guidance, details and requests comments on a number of 'potential approaches' under consideration for purposes of determining which employers are subject to the employer responsibility provisions and how penalties should be calculated. Comments are due by June 17, 2011." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
CMS Issues Unreasonable Rate Increase Final Rule
"The recently published Rate Increase Disclosure and Review Final Rule, which takes effect July 18, 2011, provides that certain health insurance issuers with a rate increase filed in a state or becoming effective on or after September 1, 2011, will be subject to review for reasonableness if the rate increase is 10% or more. This could create problems for employers with fully-insured health plans utilizing a small group policy." (Ford & Harrison LLP)

Delivery System Reform Tracking: A Framework for Understanding Change
"With so many changes taking place at once, there is a need for a new tool to track progress at the community level. Many of the necessary data elements for a delivery system reform tracking tool are already being collected in various places and by different stakeholders. The authors propose that all elements be brought together in a unified whole to create a detailed picture of delivery system change." (The Commonwealth Fund)

EEOC's Proposed Rule on GINA Recordkeeping Requirements
"The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission . . . released proposed rules extending recordkeeping requirements under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to entities covered by title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). GINA prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information. The proposed rule amends existing recordkeeping regulations by adding references to GINA and would not require creation of any new documents." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

More Than 40% of Firms at Least Partially Self-Fund Health Care, According to Report
"The report analyzes such characteristics as plan type, number of participants, costs, funding mechanisms, and financial health, based on plans' annual Form 5500 filings and financial data on sponsoring firms." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Reducing and Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health Insurance Plans Partnering in Communities
"This report features a selection of innovative programs that health insurance plans have developed and implemented in their communities, in collaboration with schools, community groups, and policymakers, to prevent and ultimately reverse childhood obesity." (America's Health Insurance Plans)

Employers Rely More on Employees to Trim Rising Health Care Costs, According to Survey
"[The Aon Hewitt survey] found that the top health care outcomes organizations would like to achieve this year are improving employee health habits (56%), lowering the health care cost trend (49%), decreasing worker health risk (44%), increasing participant awareness of health issues (37%) and enhancing participation in health improvement/disease management programs (37%)." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Tracking Health Reform Law Court Challenges
"More than two dozen federal lawsuits are seeking to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. [Kaiser Health News] is tracking the status of the lawsuits, providing information on the plaintiffs, judges, decisions and pending appeals, with links to in-depth articles, KHN's news summaries, and related documents." (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Why Work and Breastfeeding Don't Mix
"A study in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics suggests that longer maternity leaves might encourage more new mothers to breastfeed their babies." (CBS Interactive)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Checklist for Evaluating the Need for a New or Amended Stock Award Plan (PDF)
"For many employers, the need comes in the form of more shares, or broader flexibility in the types of available awards. There are many more subtle improvements that employers should consider with respect to their stock award programs, especially in view of escalating governance expectations across the globe." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. via Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

Projected Financial Conditions of Social Security and Medicare Worsen
"The recently released annual reports for 2011 from the trustees on the financial states of Social Security and Medicare show the 'great recession' continues to take a toll on both programs." (Towers Watson)

Telecommuting: Attract and Retain Employees, Save Money, and, Account for Any Hidden Costs
"'Think carefully about whether telecommuting actually fits with the strategy of your business and its operational needs,' advises Wayne F. Cascio, professor of management at the University of Colorado Denver. Without that strategic fit, 'It may cost you a lot more, in the long run, in terms of lost business opportunities.'" (SHRM)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Participant Counselor
for Diversified in CA, DC, IL, NJ, NV, OH, WI

Senior Pension Consultant
for Means & Associates, LLC in CA

Senior Vice President, Operations
for DailyAccess Corporation in AL

Account Manager II/III - IRC27546
for Lincoln Financial Group in IL, IN

Regional Sales Director
for DailyAccess Corporation in DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA

Sr Actuarial Associate, Defined Benefit Pension Valuation
for Prudential in CT

Associate Manager, Actuarial Defined Benefit Pension Valuation
for Prudential in CT

Financial Operations Manager
for Keenan & Associates in CA

Account Service Representative
for Pension Specialists, Inc. in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Learn How Changes to the FMLA May Affect Your Organizationís Administrative Procedures
Nationwide on June 21, 2011 presented by FutureOffice Network

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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager
Copyright 2011, Inc., but feel free to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

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