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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 16, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Cases Challenging Validity of Healthcare Reform Legislation Move Forward
"The central issue in these cases is whether Congress has the power under the Commerce Clause to require individuals to purchase health insurance coverage." (Deloitte via

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Can Exchanges Help Consumers Get Insurance That's a Good Value? Depends on Where You Live
"[E]xchanges need to enroll a critical mass of individuals and small businesses for which health plans will want to compete. And even though the exchange will be the exclusive source of coverage for most low- and moderate-income consumers, in many states these folks will represent a relatively small share of the total commercial market." (Kaiser Health News, authored by Sabrina Corlette)

Built To Fail: Health Insurance Exchanges Under The Affordable Care Act
"The health law . . . takes this simple idea [of setting up Web sites where consumers and small businesses can compare insurance options] and makes it extraordinarily complicated — if not impossible — to execute. By adding a litany of new minimum-insurance requirements and regulations to the original bipartisan idea, health insurance purchased through an exchange will likely end up more expensive than it is now." (Kaiser Health News, authored by Paul Howard and Stephen T. Parente)

Health Insurers Pump Your Premiums Into a Financial Black Hole
"You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole. . . . If you've been paying attention to what health insurance company CEOs have been saying to Wall Street over the past several months, you will know that they are spending more and more of their firms' cash — which comes from you, of course — to 'repurchase' their firms' stock." (Physicians for a National Health Program)

Comments by American Benefits Council to IRS on Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage (Code Section 4980H) (PDF)
"[W]e believe employers should [be permitted to] retain discretion not only to decline coverage to appropriate categories of employees in the entirety; they should also be able to provide different levels of coverage so long as the coverage meets the standards set forth in Code section 4980H. . . . We urge the IRS to issue guidance excluding all seasonal employees (i.e., employees working less than 6 months per year), contract employees, daily employees, and temporary employees from the definition of full-time employee." (American Benefits Council)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Non-Profit Organizations And Government Entities Prepare for New Regs for 'Golden Handcuff' Plans Under Code Section 457(f)
"The IRS has stated that the new Section 457(f) regulations anticipate issuing guidance for substantial risk of forfeiture in line with those published under Section 409A. . . . There is precedent from the IRS's implementation of the 409A regulations, in which employers were provided a safe harbor period for corrections to bring their plans into compliance. However, the safe harbor period may not be very long, and may end as soon as December 31, 2011." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.)

Wisconsin State Workers to Begin Paying More for Benefits in August
"The law . . . requires workers to pay 12 percent of their health insurance costs and 5.8 percent of their pension costs, which amount to an 8 percent pay cut on average." (Washington Post)

N.J. Pension Reform Deal Reached Between Governor and Top Lawmakers
"The legislation would force public employees to pay more for their pensions and health benefits and push back their retirement age." (The Star-Ledger)

Employee Ownership Update for June 15, 2011
NCEO Executive Director Loren Rodgers discusses a $10 mil.lion settlement in a DOL suit against an ESOP company, payroll tax relief for stock options in San Francisco, a Senate bill to block the DOL's proposal to make ESOP appraisers plan fiduciaries, and more. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Relationship Manager—GA/TX
for Transamerica Retirement Services in GA, TX

Business Solutions Analyst
for Boston Financial Data Services in MA

Sr. Benefits Analyst
for Rockwell Collins, Inc. in IA

Defined Benefit Specialist
for Nationwide in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans" - Denver
in Colorado on July 13, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

24th Annual Administrators Symposium
in Connecticut on August 10, 2011 presented by Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC)

Future of Employer-Sponsored Insurance in the States Webinar
Nationwide on June 21, 2011 presented by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

How to Showcase your Firmís Value through Service Agreements
Nationwide on June 29, 2011 presented by Thomson Reuters AccuDraft

Ten Things Employers Can Do To Avoid Litigation, and the Latest Health Care Reform Updates
in Florida on June 22, 2011 presented by AGIS-FL Agency Inc

We also publish the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

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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