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February 2, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Manager (Retirement Department)
for Financial Concepts, Inc. in MN

Compliance Testing and Reporting Specialist
for Prudential in IA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Form 5500 Update
Nationwide on April 10, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Midwest Regional Conference
in Illinois on March 14, 2012 presented by Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA)

Terminating 401(k) and Other Defined Contribution Plans
Nationwide on March 14, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Top-Heavy Plans
Nationwide on March 21, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

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[Guidance Overview]
Agencies Outline Plans for Issuing Rules Under Affordable Care Act
"[An] imminent final rule will establish the requirements of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) disclosure that health insurers and group health plans must provide to consumers to enable them to better compare benefits and coverage. The CMS issued a proposed rule on this topic in August 2011. A final rule, which will also 'set standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage, including specific terms' provided in the Affordable Care Act, is expected to be issued shortly." (Employee Benefits Counsel Blog)

DATAIR! More Choices Better Guidance Less Cost   [Advert.]

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

FSA, DCAP, Full-Flex, HRA, HSA, 132(f)
Documents, SPDs, Amendments, Administrative Forms

[Guidance Overview]
Slide Presentation: Form W-2 Reporting Requirements for Employer-Sponsored Group Health Coverage (PDF)
"Overview: Informational nature of reporting requirement; Effective date; Special transition relief for small employers; Employers subject to the new rules; Plans that must be reported; Determination of the aggregate cost; [and] Open issues" (Crowell Moring via American Benefits Council)

[Guidance Overview]
ACA Terminology Related to Essential Health Benefits, Minimum Essential Coverage and Minimum Value (PDF)
"This memorandum addresses [three terms that] are or will be very important to employers in understanding their obligations under the ACA. Attached to this memorandum is a chart addressing the application of each of these terms to different types of employer-sponsored coverage." (Crowell Moring via American Benefits Council)

Anger Brewing on the Left About Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage for Employees of Religious Employers
"Megan McArdle, senior editor of the Atlantic, wrote yesterday that it might be in Americans' interest to be more flexible with faith-based organizations because they provide such a depth of social services (publicly funded in many cases, of course) . . . ." (Washington Post)

Catholic Bishops Revolt Against Birth Control Rules
"There's a battle going on between U.S. Catholic bishops and the Obama administration over its recent directive requiring religious institutions to offer coverage for contraception in their health care plans. Some have announced they will not comply with the mandate. Others are calling on parishioners to . . . speak out against what they call an intrusion against religious liberty." (National Public Radio)

Larger Employers Increasingly Covering Cost of Gender Changes
"[J]ust like depression, having gender identity disorder is diagnosed by doctors, and the American Medical Association asserts that when discriminatory financial barriers are placed between the transgender community and proper health care by dismissing treatments as 'cosmetic' or 'experimental' — even when covered for other patients with other recognized medical conditions — more expensive problems can develop as a result, such as depression, substance abuse problems and stress-related illness." (Employee Benefit News)

Ongoing IRS Guidance on Form W-2: Practical Tips for Complying   [Advert.]

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

A new Form W-2 rule requires employers to report the cost of health plan coverage. This International Foundation Webcast will discuss recent IRS guidance and offer compliance tips for employers and advisors. Register now for this February 9 Webcast!

Congressional Budget Office Expects Health Spending to Double in Ten Years
"CBO's economic outlook predicts that federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare programs will climb to $1.8 tril.lion — or about 7 percent of the entire economy — by 2022." (The Hill)

Next Steps for Accountable Care Organizations
"This new approach is already affecting how other health plans pay providers and resulting in a number of ACO contracts between providers and private health plans. . . . This Health Policy Brief provides an overview of ACOs, their origins, and the current status of adoption by Medicare and private health insurance plans." (Health Affairs)

House Votes to Kill CLASS Program, LTCI Provision of Affordable Care Act
"The U.S. House of Representatives voted 267 to 159 [on Wednesday Feb. 1] to repeal the CLASS Program, a stagnating program that was a crucial component of the Affordable Care Act. . . . The bill's chances in the Senate, controlled by Democrats, [are] far less certain." (LifeHealthPro)

A Guide to The Supreme Court's Review of The 2010 Health Care Reform Law
"[T]his Kaiser Family Foundation brief serves as a primer on the pending case, which challenges the constitutionality both of the law's individual mandate that requires most Americans to obtain health insurance and of provisions requiring states to expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs. The brief provides an overview of . . . the key constitutional questions, and the legal arguments made by the parties involved . . . and the potential implications of the Court's decisions.' (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Government Health Spending Seen Hitting $1.8 Tril.lion
"[R]esearchers warned that the longer term prospects for rising healthcare spending could have dire consequences for the U.S. deficit when combined with the cost of Social Security, if current revenue levels remain unchanged." (Reuters)

Protestants and Jews Declare to White House: We Stand With Catholics
"[M]ore than 40 non-Catholic religious organizations including Protestant-affiliated colleges, National Association of Evangelicals, Focus on the Family, Assemblies of God, Northwest Nazarene University, and Eastern Mennonite University, sent a letter to the White House demanding religious protection against the newly issued HHS contraceptive mandate." (Becket Fund)

Defend Freedom: Repeal CLASS
"CLASS was a fiscal time bomb. It's clear the program's main initial function was to pump up Obamacare's financing, since it would have collected premiums for five years before paying out a penny in benefits. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would reduce budget deficits by $81 bil.lion over the next decade." (Galen Institute)

Health Care Mandates Violate Our Religious Rights
"This mandate treats a healthy pregnancy as a disease in need of 'prevention,' like breast cancer or AIDS or other conditions that require safe, effective prevention and treatment. But pregnancy is not a disease; it is a gift from God. . . . Never in the history of this country has the government forced citizens to purchase a product that violates core moral and religious beliefs." (Concord Monitor)

Employers Need Health Care Cost Transparency
"[A] growing number of employers recognize that transparency is needed to change the unsustainable dynamics of the health care industry. Unfortunately, many of these employers are being blocked by health insurance companies that benefit from keeping things the same." (The Hill)

Obamacare's Contraception Mandate Tramples on Religious Liberty
"Exemption of religious institutions from the Obamacare contraception mandate does not involve a clash of the constitutional rights of a religious employer with the constitutional rights of its employees regarding contraception (as enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965) or abortion (Roe v. Wade, 1973). Such an exemption in no way limits the freedom of employees of those religious institutions to obtain contraceptive services, to obtain insurance covering contraceptive services from a source other than their employer, or to seek employment with other than a religious employer." (The Heritage Foundation)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Washington Could Be Seventh State to Allow Same-s.ex Marriage
"A sufficient number of Senators for passage in that chamber have said they would vote for it if it reaches the Senate floor, and Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) said earlier in January that she would sign such a measure if it reaches her desk." (Thompson Media)

Washington State Senate Passes G.ay Marriage Bill
"The 28-21 vote in favor of the measure — three more votes than needed for passage — sent it on to [Washington] state's House of Representatives, where the bill is expected to win swift approval by a comfortable margin as early as next week." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Employee Ownership Update for February 1, 2012
NCEO Executive Director Loren Rodgers discusses employee ownership in the 2010 General Social Survey, the continuing importance of ESPPs, Principal's 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security, employee ownership and charity, the April Employee Ownership Conference, and a different way of owning 'stock." (National Center for Employee Ownership)

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