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June 6, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Executive Compensation: Strategy, Design, and Implementation
in New York on June 14, 2012 presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Say on Pay Round Two • A 2012 Proxy Season Wrap-Up
Nationwide on June 27, 2012 presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Retirement, Deferred Compensation, and Welfare Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers
in District of Columbia on September 20, 2012 presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Pension, Profit-Sharing, Welfare, and Other Compensation Plans
in District of Columbia on October 17, 2012 presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Health Insurance Exchanges -- Let the Games Begin!
in Illinois on June 26, 2012 presented by WEB - Chicago Downtown

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
in Montana on July 25, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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

[Guidance Overview]

Final CMS Regs Address Student Health Insur.ance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act
"CMS takes the position that, since student health plans are not employment based, they are not group health plans under the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). They are therefore regulated under the PHS Act as individual plans. That some states regulate student health plans as types of group coverage (e.g., as association 'blanket' coverage) does not change their treatment under the Act as individual plans." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

DATAIR’s FlexPlus System – Makes Administration Profitable   [Advert.]

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Proposals, Testing, Claims Processing, Debit Cards and more!
Plus CafeDocs/SPDs and 5500s/SARs
(888) 328-2474   Sales@DATAIR.com   www.DATAIR.com

Individual Insur.ance Benefits Under Health Reform Would Have Cut Out-Of-Pocket Spending in 2001-08
"If adults who had individual insur.ance during 2001-08 had instead had benefits similar to those under the Affordable Care Act, their average annual out-of-pocket spending on medical care and drugs might have been $280 less. The near-elderly and people with low incomes might have saved $589 and $535, respectively. An important improvement would have been the reduced probability of incurring very high out-of-pocket spending." (Health Affairs)

U.S. Healthcare Costs Expected to Rise 7.5% in 2013
"The projected growth rate of 7.5% for overall healthcare costs contrasts with expectations for growth of 2.4% in U.S. gross domestic product and a 2.0% rise in consumer prices during 2013 ... Healthcare costs have long been known to outstrip economic growth and inflation rates ... But PwC's Health Research Institute ... said data for the past three years suggest an extended slowdown in healthcare inflation from earlier decades when annual costs rose by double-digits." (Reuters via FoxBusiness.com)

2012 Employer Health Care Trends (PDF)
"Confused by the pending legislation, employers are fearful of rising insur.ance costs and are hesitant to make any significant changes to their current plans. However, despite the potential changes coming to the US healthcare market, they have no choice but to continue managing these costs for their companies.... This white paper details three solutions that have proven effective in managing employer-provided healthcare, despite the uncertainty[.]" (CPEhr)

Final IRS Regs Issued on Health Insur.ance Premium Tax Credits, But Some Issues Remain
"On May 23, final Treasury regulations were issued and became effective regarding how individuals who enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP) through an Exchange may obtain advance payment of a premium tax credit to facilitate the purchase. Future guidance is expected on certain aspects of the process that still remain unclear, including how the affordability of an employer-sponsored plan will be determined for family members of the employee, how it will be impacted by wellness incentive programs that increase or decrease employee premiums, and how it may be affected by employer contributions to health reimbursement arrangements." (Deloitte)

7th Annual Congress on On-Site Employee Health Clinics   [Advert.]

Sponsored by Global Media Dynamics, LLC

Strategically building & expanding on-site health clinics -- incorporating innovative strategies to reduce costs and ensure employee satisfaction. July 19–20, 2012, Boston, MA

Most U.S. Companies Believe ACA Will Be Partially Overturned
"In anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruling on the ACA, the International Foundation surveyed plan administrators, trustees and organizational representatives from single-employers/corporations, multiemployer trust funds and public/governmental employers in early May ... The respondents represent a comprehensive range of organizations with respect to size and region, providing a wide ranging look into how American employers view the ACA. While 66 percent of the respondents think the individual mandate will be struck down but other pieces of reform will be kept intact, the remaining one-third is split between those who think the entire law will remain intact (19 percent) and those who think the entire law will be thrown out (15 percent)." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Court Finds Denial of Health Claim Reasonable and Plan's Appeal Process Sufficient
"Because an employer health plan gave a full and fair review resulting in a reasonable benefits decision, a federal court upheld the plan's lifetime limit on obesity services and its prohibition on payments to treat complications from earlier gastric bypass surgeries. The plan also weathered an allegation that it was not properly segregating plan funds." (Wesson v. Phillips Medical Center Employee Group Healthcare Plan, 2012 WL 1536458 N.D. Okla., April 30, 2012) (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

Enrollment in Consumer-Directed Health Plans Grew by 18 Percent in 2011
"Thirteen percent of all employees with employer-sponsored plans chose CDHPs in 2011—showing an enrollment growth that no other type of insur.ance plan saw that year. This trend corresponds with a slight, but steady decline in HMOs over that same period. Last year's increase continues a steady growth trend that started in 2008 (7 percent) and continued through 2010 (11 percent). Survey results show that the trend is likely to continue in the near future as well, with 48 percent of employers of all sizes expecting to offer a CDHP in the next 5 years." (American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO))

Text of Congressional Budget Office Estimate of the Revenue Effects of H.R. 436, the 'Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012'
"H.R. 436 would repeal an excise tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect in January 2013, allow up to $500 of unused balances in health flexible spending accounts to be distributed back to the account holder after the plan year ends, and allow contributions to certain tax-favored health savings accounts to be used to cover the cost of over-the-counter medications. The bill also would eliminate existing limits on the amounts to be repaid by taxpayers who purchase health insur.ance through exchanges and receive advance payments larger than the premium assistance credits to which they are entitled." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)


House Legislation Would Cause 350,000 People to Skip Health Coverage, Could Jeopardize Health Reform
"The proposed change in subsidies [provided by the ACA for purchase of health insur.ance] is designed to offset the cost of (1) a proposed repeal of health reform's excise tax on medical devices (as demanded by the medical device industry, which has waged a misleading campaign against it), and (2) proposed changes in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) that do not represent either sound health policy or sound tax policy and would disproportionately favor higher-income people." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)


Congress Would be Wrong to Restore Ability to Purchase Over-the-Counter Drugs Through a Health FSA
"The House will consider legislation this week to repeal the health reform law's limitation on the use of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and other tax-advantaged accounts to buy over-the-counter medicines. The limitation makes sense both as tax policy and as health policy and should not be repealed.... Only a minority of workers benefit from these tax-advantaged accounts." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed IRS Regs Issued on Substantial Risk of Forfeiture Analysis
"[It] is unclear how employers and employees are expected to determine the likelihood that a forfeiture condition will occur (including whether there is a requirement to retest the likelihood of forfeiture following the initial determination), as well as the extent to which such a determination will be reviewed or rejected by the IRS and Treasury." (Proskauer Rose LLP)

Managing 409A Issues in Change-of-Control Transaction
Materials from the third installment in the 409A Basics Webinar Series, which centered on managing 409A issues in change-of-control transactions. Topics discussed included: Transaction structure (due diligence, representations and warranties, business risks, and 409A compliance); Typical 409A arrangements (equity, severance, change of control, and deferred compensation plans); Restructuring deferred compensation arrangements (key terms, payment acceleration, and delay limitations); and Stock rights considerations (assumptions, adjustments, and exchanges for other compensation). (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Former Madoff Employee Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Form 5500s
"Craig Kugel, a former employee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) and Primex Trading N.A. LLC (Primex), plead guilty yesterday (June 5, 2012) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Manhattan Division, on five counts involving conspiracy, making false statements in relation to documents required by ERISA, and subscribing to false U.S. individual income tax returns." (The Pension Protection Act Blog)

Press Releases

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