EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com logo BenefitsLink.com logo

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 24, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Participant Counselor
for Diversified in AR, CA, DC, GA, HI, MI, NC, NJ, OH, UT

Participant Counselor
for Diversified in CA

Client Services Representative - Consultant
for Ameritas Life Insurance Corp. in OH

Sales Position - Retirement and Investment Advisory Plans
for Benefits Consulting Firm in NY

Account Manager
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting in NY

Sales Team Member - Retirement and Compensation
for Verisight, Inc. in CA

Post Your Job on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

ERISA Basics Preemption: Why You Must Care
Nationwide on September 27, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Experts' Guide to Employee Benefits Research
Nationwide on September 20, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Open MEPs: Life after the DOL Advisory Opinion
Nationwide on September 25, 2012 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

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


[Guidance Overview]

HHS Final Regs Address Data Collection from Insurers for Definition of Essential Health Benefits
"The definition of essential health benefits is significant not only for plans and policies offered in the small and individual group markets, but also for prohibition and restrictions on lifetime and annual dollar limits, which apply to the value of essential health benefits." (Practical Law Company)

Take the Hassle Out of Enrollment   [Advert.]

Sponsored by BeneCom Associates, LLC

BeneCom creates effective enrollment communications. And with our 20 years of experience behind you, communications is one less job you have to worry about so you can get back to what matters most ̶ your employees!

[Guidance Overview]

Final HHS Regs on Essential Health Benefits Issued
"The final rule outlines the data on applicable plans to be collected from certain issuers to support the definition of EHB. Also, the final rule establishes a process to recognize accrediting entities to certify qualified health plans (QHP).... The final rule incorporates most of the provisions of the proposed rule, with a few substantive changes. For example, the final rule changes the definition of 'treatment limitations' to include only quantitative limits and removes the requirement for insurers to provide data on nonquantitative limits." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

One in 10 Employers Plans to Drop Health Benefits
"Surveying 560 U.S. companies, consulting firm Deloitte found that 9 percent of employers are planning to drop employee health benefits within three years. Eighty-one percent said they would continue covering employees, and 10 percent said they were not sure. The study was conducted between February and April, before the Supreme Court ruled to uphold most of the healthcare law. Deloitte said it does not believe the decision would change companies' responses." (The Hill)

ML Strategies Health Care Reform Update, July 23, 2012 (PDF)
Weekly update on developments in federal and state health care reform legislation and regulations. Includes summaries of recent announcements and regulatory activity by HHS, CCIIO, IRS and CMS. (Mintz Levin)

Forget The Company Plan -- The Boss Wants You Covered by Your Parents' Insur.ance
"Young adults who need health insur.ance have more options than before under the health-care overhaul, which generally allows them to stay on their parents' plans until they reach age 26. But the provision gives employers new options, too: They can encourage their young employees to join Mom and Dad's plan rather than sign up for the company policy." (Kaiser Health News)

Dropping Heath Coverage in Favor of Paying Penalty Not Clearly Advantageous, Study Finds
"[E]mployers opting to drop their health care plans in 2014 and pay the penalty imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) instead of maintaining coverage for their employees will not benefit economically in the short- or long-term.... Employers must provide market value—in benefits and compensation—to retain skilled workers and will not be able to unilaterally cut benefits and expect employees to absorb the projected inefficiency of Exchanged-based coverage." (Littler Mendelson LLC)

Employers and Service Providers are Eagerly Awaiting Additional ACA Guidance
"It is increasingly important for employers to start focusing on how their coverage interacts with the health insur.ance exchanges, including understanding how the penalties for no coverage or unaffordable coverage will work, how the government subsidies will be implemented, and the interaction between their employee coverage and Medicaid. Many employers are reporting added pressure from employees to provide health insur.ance. However, with the availability of exchanges and guaran.teed insur.ance, employers may also elect to move forward with plans to eliminate retiree medical coverage along with health care coverage for part-time employees." (Faegre Baker Daniels)

Actuarial Practices Relating to Preparing, Reviewing, and Commenting on Rate Filings Under the Affordable Care Act (PDF)
"This practice note represents a description of practices the work group believes to be common among many but not all U.S. health actuaries, but other approaches also may be appropriate. We expect Section 2794 to increase the public's awareness of the role of the actuary; the HHS website will display actuarial memoranda signed by actuaries. The new regulation affects actuaries who prepare or submit rate increases to HHS or states, regulatory or consulting actuaries who review rate increase filings, and actuaries who provide public comment on rate filings and reviews. This practice note is intended to encourage discussion on the issues set forth below, providing a framework to foster dialogue between the actuaries involved in the process." (American Academy of Actuaries Joint Committee on Retiree Health)

Children's Health Insur.ance: Opportunities Exist for Improved Access to Affordable Insur.ance
"PPACA sought to increase access to affordable health insur.ance, and major provisions, such as a tax credit to offset the cost of private insur.ance premiums, will become effective in 2014. GAO estimated the extent to which (1) uninsured children would be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or the premium tax credit under PPACA, and (2) children would experience a change in eligibility among Medicaid, CHIP, and the premium tax credit under PPACA because of income changes.... GAO recommends that in future rule making, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, consider the impact of the proposed standard for determining affordability of employer-sponsored insur.ance on eligible family members, and whether it would be consistent with PPACA to adopt an approach that would consider the cost of insuring eligible family members, or as necessary, seek clarification from Congress regarding its intent with respect to this standard." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Judges Don't Have to Pay More Into Pensions, Health Benefits
"The court's majority wrote Tuesday that the issue is solely whether the law violates the state constitution, and not whether justices and judges should contribute to their pension and health care insur.ance plans or whether any future judicial pay raise can be used to offset increased pension and health care contributions. 'We conclude that it does' violate the constitution, the court wrote. 'No court of last resort—including the United States Supreme Court—has upheld the constitutionality of legislation of this kind.'" (The Republic)

Employer Best Practices for Analyzing Whether Leave Beyond FMLA is an 'Undue Hardship' under the ADA
[W]when an employee requests additional leave after FMLA leave has expired, it is critical that the employer review and document how the employee's request for leave impacts their business and operations and whether continued leave poses an undue hardship. Employers tend to invite EEOC scrutiny when they give undue hardship no thought." (FMLA Insights)

Court Tosses PPACA Lactation Rights Claim But Agrees FLSA Barred Employer Retaliation
"A federal district court in Iowa ... held that while the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide reasonable break time for employees to express breast milk for nursing children, PPACA did not create a private right of action against an employer that violates the requirements ... [The court] refused to dismiss Salz's claim that she was constructively discharged for complaining about the employer's failure to accommodate her request." [Salz v. Casey's Mktg. Co., N.D. Iowa, No. 11-cv-3055, 7/19/12] (Bloomberg BNA)

Press Releases

BenefitsLink.com, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

Copyright © 2012 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All rights reserved, but feel free to forward this newsletter if done without modification in any way.

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 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of BenefitsLink.com, Inc. was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

Useful links: