To To BenefitsLink home page

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 11, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Communications Consultant
for Diversified in NY

Director Operations (Benefits TPA)
for Zenith American Solutions in NV

for Thompson Hine LLP in OH

Post Your Job on

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Chevy Chase
in Maryland on June 7, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Tory
in Michigan on June 7, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Webcast: Digital Signatures and the New Age of Communications
Nationwide on May 30, 2012 presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Retirement Plan Compliance Issues On The IRS's Radar Screen Webinar
Nationwide on May 15, 2012 presented by Chang, Ruthenberg & Long

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

[Guidance Overview]
Hey Boss, Buy Me a Bike? A Look at Unusual Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits
"For employees who commute to work by bike, a qualified transportation plan can be set up to reimburse reasonable expenses incurred by employees for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage. The amount which can be reimbursed is limited annually to $20 per month multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuting months during the year." (The Pension Protection Act Blog)

Prevention & Wellness Conference: Sustainable Improvements in Population Health   [Advert.]

Sponsored by World Congress

Develop a plan for engaging, efficient and measurable wellness and prevention. Improve population health outcomes through prevention initiatives based on data and best practices from leading corporations, health plans and wellness thought leaders.

Providing Incentives for Healthy Employee Behaviors While Threading the HIPAA Privacy Needle
"You can still protect employee privacy while administering programs that actually do single out particular of individuals, as long as you meet the standards. Participation-only programs and standards-based programs are how you do it. Participation-only programs are programs that offer a reward to anyone who participates—regardless of the outcome of that participation. These are exempt from the non-discrimination requirements with the HIPAA regulations, as long as participation is available to all similarly-situated individuals." (

A Look at Legally Required Accommodations for Pregnant Women in the Workplace
"Just seven states—Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Alaska, Texas, Illinois and California—have some sort of pregnancy accommodation legislation; New York is in the process of trying to pass a law. California's is among the most protective for pregnant women: it guarantees the right to job-protected—albeit unpaid—leave and mandates a pregnant woman's right to be transferred to another position if medically necessary." (TIME)

Trend in Massachusetts: Small Employers Moving to Less Generous Health Insur.ance Plans
"A new analysis ... found that 27 percent of people in Massachusetts who got their insur.ance through the small group market at the end of 2010 were in a plan with a lower 'actuarial value,' meaning the deductibles and copayments were the highest among plans on the market. That's up from just 2 percent in the first quarter of 2008." (The Boston Globe)

New Jersey Governor Vetoes Health Insur.ance Exchange
"Democrats in the Legislature had billed the exchange as one-stop shopping for people or businesses seeking health insur.ance, allowing consumers to compare the benefits and the costs of participating plans. The Web site it proposed would have also allowed people to apply for tax credits or other subsidies toward the cost of insur.ance. In his veto message, the governor said he was concerned about the potential costs of the exchange." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Massachusetts Politicians Taking Different Tacks Pursuing Containment of Health Care Costs
Provides an interesting list of proposed programs, technologies, expenditures and tax relief. "The current legislative session's policy focus has been health care payment reform, and the Massachusetts Senate, House of Representatives and governor have each proposed their own unique approach to transition the market away from fee-for-service and to contain cost growth." (ML Strategies)

Working Moms Taking Less Maternity Leave
"One in four (26%) working moms who have had a child in the last three years reported they did not take the full maternity leave allowed by their company. One in 10 took two weeks or less.... As more moms assume the sole or primary breadwinner role in their households, they're feeling increasingly torn between providing financial security for their families and having quality time at home[.]" (

Illinois House Votes to Require Former State Employees to Pay Part of Health Care Premiums for First Time
"The measure ... takes aim at an $876 mil.lion annual subsidy that had been one of the most lucrative perks of public employment. 'Not only are these benefits unaffordable given today's fiscal situation, but they are far more generous than those provided by other governments to their employees and those provided by the private sector,' said [the Illinois] House Speaker[.]" (Chicago Sun-Times)

Even If Obamacare Survives Supreme Court Scrutiny and Upcoming Election, Employers May Do It In
"How big employers now control costs will depend on two giant decisions. First is the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. If the justices give it a thumbs-down, employers are in a quandary. They like a mandate because it could lower their insur.ance costs by forcing more people into the risk pool, and in a world where everyone is legally required to maintain insur.ance, employers may feel less pressure to offer it. If the mandate is upheld, then everything depends on the second big decision: the voters' choice in November. A Republican sweep would probably mean Obamacare's repeal, while a more muddled election result probably wouldn't. Either of the two big decisions could kill Obamacare." (CNN Money)

Where's the Fire? Administration's Implementation of Health Care Regs Is Disorderly Mess
"In a series of papers [the authors] provide evidence to suggest that 'the involvement of both White House and high-ranking agency staff' suggests that 'the administration likely got the [ObamaCare] rules it wanted written.' To do this, it overrode the normal checks and balances used to ensure that federal regulations impose the smallest possible burden on the private sector. Rather than posting required regulatory impact analyses ... with interim rules and allowing time for analysis and comment, the White House and its agency heads dictated the rules that would be written, curbed the Office of Management and Budget ... review function, and then simply declared that the interim rules were final." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

ERISA Advisory Council to Examine Disability Coverage, Retirement Income and Beneficiary Designations (PDF)
The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) meeting will be held on June 12-14, 2012 in Washington, DC. "The Advisory Council will study the following issues: (1) Managing Disability Risks in an Environment of Individual Responsibility; (2) Current Issues Regarding Income Replacement During Retirement Years; and (3) Current Challenges and Best Practices Concerning Beneficiary Designations in Retirement and Life Insur.ance Plans." (Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Press Releases, 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 <>
Lois Baker, J.D., President <>
Holly Horton, Business Manager <>

Copyright © 2012, Inc. All rights reserved.

All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Links to Web sites other than those owned by, Inc. are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of, Inc. was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

More useful links: