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February 13, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Sr HR Representative
for Entergy Corporation in LA

Account Manager
for Nova 401(k) Associates in TX

Benefits Administrative Manager
for SEIU Benefit Funds in DC

Legal Counsel/Senior Legal Counsel
for Fidelity Investments in TX

Retirement Education Specialist
for MassMutual Financial Group in LA, MS, OK, TX

Annuity and Life Product Development Manager
for AUL/OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. in IN

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Baltimore
in Maryland on March 8, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Seattle (Bellevue)
in Washington on March 6, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Paper Chase and Follow the Money: Paper and Electronic Benefit Disclosures Including Fees
Nationwide on March 20, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships: Benefits Plan Design and Litigation Issues
Nationwide on March 14, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

U.S. Treasury Department “Proposed Guidance Package on Lifetime Income”
Nationwide on February 23, 2012 presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

We also publish the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe

[Official Guidance]
Fact Sheet from White House: Women's Preventive Services and Religious Institutions
"The policy . . . ensures that if a woman works for a religious employer with objections to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, the religious employer will not be required to provide, pay for or refer for contraception coverage, but her insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge." (The White House)

Need to advertise your benefits’ value? Try benefit statements!   [Advert.]

Sponsored by Benecom Associates, LLC

Ad campaigns are expensive, but BeneCom’s benefit statements are an economical promotional tool you can use to “advertise” the value of your benefits – value that’s often ignored. So, discover BeneCom’s impact on your benefits, not your budget!

[Guidance Overview]
Final Summary of Benefits and Coverage Rules Include Six-month Compliance Delay
"Although employers and insurers will welcome many of the changes under the final regulations (particularly elimination of the premium and cost of coverage requirement), the six-month compliance delay leaves little time for implementation. Compliance will likely result in significant administrative burden and cost to plans and insurers . . . . Notably, the Departments specifically declined in the final regulations to exempt large or self-insured plans from the SBC requirement." (Practical Law Company)

[Guidance Overview]
COBRA and ARRA Rules Misread in Slapping Employer with $500 Notice Penalty
"COBRA experts . . . noted that the opinion includes two points that 'are clearly wrong'; therefore, administrators should not be misled by those conclusions . . . ." (SmartHR Manager)

[Guidance Overview]
Agencies Finalize Guidance on Summary of Benefits and Coverage
"Although the final regulations track most of the August 2011 proposals, certain changes should make it somewhat easier to comply with this SBC requirement. These include the following: . . ." (Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP)

Contraception Coverage Rule Still Has Unanswered Questions
"The insurer could not charge a premium for the coverage. A senior administration official said extending the coverage would be cost neutral due to a reduction in the number of pregnancies. In regulations issued Friday, the administration said it will develop a comparable rule that would apply to employers affiliated with religious organizations that self-fund their health care plans." (Business Insurance)

ECFC Annual Conference – Register today to save $100!   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ECFC (Employment Council on Flexible Compensation)

The ECFC conference helps TPAs, brokers, and agents to advance flexible compensation benefits and to reform legislation impacting our industry, with face-to-face meetings with members of the Congress and expert regulatory speakers. Register now.

New HHS Issue Brief: The Cost of Covering Contraceptives through Health Insurance
"While the costs of contraceptives for individual women can be substantial and can influence choice of contraceptive methods,[2] available data indicate that providing contraceptive coverage as part of a health insurance benefit does not add to the cost of providing insurance coverage." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Health Care Costs Drop When Poor Are Insured, Study Says
"A new study coming from the University of California-Irvine may upset Republicans who argue health care reform is too costly: Researchers found health care costs on the whole fall when poorer, uninsured patients are provided health insurance." (BenefitsPro)

Get Healthy or Pay Higher Insurance Rates, Cleveland Clinic Employees Are Told
"Recalcitrant employees at Ohio's second largest private employer are seeing a significant rise in their insurance premiums — 21 percent. But the hospital is giving these employees one last chance to have a portion of that increase refunded — if they get on board and reach established goals before year's end." (CLEVELAND.COM)

Success of Health Reform Hinges on Hiring 30,000 Primary Care Doctors by 2015
"Decades of research have confirmed that more specialists leads to more specialty care, which leads to a more expensive system. Now, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, tens of millions of previously uninsured Americans will be looking for a primary-care doctor. It is no exaggeration to say that the success of the health-care law rests on young doctors choosing to do something that is not in their economic self-interest." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Employers' Caring for the Caregivers
"As sporadic caregiving tasks transition into heavy responsibilities, employees could use some help from their employers. Here are three lessons for HR leaders to help their workers balance caring for loved ones with their productivity at work." (Human Resource Executive Online)

The Doctor Is 'In' with Digital Data, Details, Diagnoses
"Physicians are one of the last professions to embrace email for communicating with patients. Overall, 6.7 percent of all office-based physicians nationally emailed their patients routinely in 2008, according to the Center for Studying Health Systems Change. Even in highly integrated group — staff-model HMOs — only half the physicians regularly used email." (

Brandeis Professor Traces Efforts to Reshape Health Care
"There may be no single person with a longer or deeper history in the health care overhaul efforts of the past 40 years than Altman, a professor of national health policy at Brandeis University in Waltham. He has advised five presidents, both Democratic and Republican; authored countless articles about health policy; and served on a variety of task forces aimed at fixing health care on both the national and state levels." (The Boston Globe via

Financial Health Incentives Aim to Promote Employee Engagement
"Employers are moving beyond 'trash and trinkets' to more powerful financial incentives for employees to complete health risk assessments and take other steps to spot medical problems and to improve their health." (Business Insurance)

New Mexico's Legislature-Created Group Offers Affordable Insurance to Employers
"[The New Mexico Health Insurance Alliance (NMHIA), a non-profit organization] approved new High Deductible Health Plans to be offered in addition to existing HMOs, PPOs and Hybrid HMOs. And more recently, NMHIA insurance carriers have offered new and deeper discounted rates making premiums more attractive for small employer groups that may be experiencing high renewal rate increases." (Ruidoso News)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Same-Sex Marriage to Become Legal in Washington State Today
"For purchased insurance, including health benefits, the Act is unlikely to have any impact, apart from a change in terminology from domestic partner to spouse. Employers should check with their insurance brokers, however, to see if there are any changes to plans, policies, enrollment forms or other issues related to purchased insurance benefits." (Littler)

Fortune 1000 Firms Lead the Charge in NQDC Plans
"More than 8 in 10 Fortune 1000 businesses offer a non-qualified deferred compensation plan to their key executives, a new survey discloses. The Newport Group, Heathrow, Fla., released this finding in a summary of results from its 2012 edition of 'Executive Benefits: A Survey of Current Trends.'" (BenefitsPro)

2011 Data on Executive Compensation in Companies Sponsoring ESOPs
The featured excerpt from the March-April 2012 Employee Ownership Report summarizes the results of the NCEO's 2011 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Send Benefit Changes Messages in Various Ways
"If a company wants to get the word out and explain benefits, its human resource professionals should rely on a variety of ways to communicate. A simple way to do this without segregating your workers into groups is to communicate a message in at least three ways . . . ." (Business Insurance)

Highlights of GAO Forum on Financial Literacy: Strengthening Partnerships in Challenging Times (PDF)
"On October 20, 2011, GAO convened a select group of leaders and experts for a forum to discuss key issues related to financial literacy. These participants, which included representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies; academic experts; nonprofit practitioners; and representatives from the private sector, were selected to represent a range of viewpoints and draw from a variety of backgrounds." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

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Phone (407) 644-4146
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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Lois Baker, J.D., President
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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