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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 24, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Retirement Planning Consultant
for Diversified in CA, MO, NC, UT, WA

Qualified Plan Specialist
for CUNA Mutual Group in WI

Plan Administrator
for Nationwide in OH

Registered Nurse, Disability Review Team Lead
for Prudential in ME

Client Relations Manager
for Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc. in TX

Retirement Plan Consultant
for July Business Services in ANY STATE

Pension Administrator (Defined Contribution Experience)
for Mercer Advisors in AZ

Vendor Services Analyst
for Pension Consultants, Inc. in MO

ERISA Paralegal
for Charles Schwab in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Plan Administrator Skills Workshop
in Oklahoma on March 22, 2013 presented by SouthWest Benefits Association

2013 NIPA Annual Forum & Expo (2013NAFE)
in Nevada on April 28, 2013 presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

2013 NIPA Annual Forum & Expo - Virtual Conference
in Nevada on April 28, 2013 presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Guidance Overview]

New HIPAA Final Rule Implements GINA Restriction on Use and Disclosure of Genetic Information for Underwriting Purposes
"HHS modified the Privacy Rule to implement the GINA provisions as follows: Augments the definition of health information' to include 'genetic information'; Adds definitions of GINA-related terms, such as 'family member,' 'genetic information,' 'genetic services,' 'genetic test' and 'manifestation or manifested'; Mandates that all health plans that are covered entities under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, except issuers of long term care policies, are prohibited from using or disclosing protected health information for underwriting purposes[.]" (Holland & Hart)


New & Innovative. A Conference Developed Just for You!

Sponsored by Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

Hear what's working for major employers: AmEx, Big Lots, Carlson, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comcast, H-E-B, Ingersoll Rand, Intel, Leviton, Microsoft, Vanguard & Walgreens. April 22-24. Aria, Las Vegas. Register today for the best rate. BenefitsConf.com

[Guidance Overview]

New FMLA Interpretation by DOL Expands Protections for Employees with Adult Children with Disabilities
"[The DOL's Wage and Hour Division] observed that Congress recognized a disabled child's need for parental care may not end when the child reaches the age of 18 and that adults who are unable to care for themselves because of a disability have 'the same compelling need for parental care' as children under the age of 18." (Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Guidance Overview]

Overview of Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules
"The Final Rule explicitly expands the definition of business associates to include: Health Information Organizations; E-prescribing Gateways; other entities that provide data transmission services for covered entities and that require access on a routine basis; entities that offer a personal health record to individuals on behalf of a covered entity; and subcontractors." (Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.)

[Guidance Overview]

Two-and-a-Half Year Gestation Produces Final Modifications to HIPAA Rules: Prepare Now
"The Final Rule further strengthens the enforcement provisions of HIPAA, foreshadowing the continued development of a more aggressive landscape of HIPAA enforcement. HHS no longer is required to attempt to reach resolution of a HIPAA violation through informal means such as voluntary compliance by the entity alleged to be in violation of the rules. Further, HHS is obligated to conduct a formal investigation of a HIPAA complaint where a preliminary review of the facts indicates a possible violation due to willful neglect, and also must conduct a compliance review to investigate a possible HIPAA violation brought to its attention through less formal means." (Bass, Berry & Sims)

[Guidance Overview]

Final HIPAA Regs Change Breach Notification Rules
"HHS takes the position that: HIPAA covered entities, which include health plans, must obtain satisfactory assurances regarding privacy and security protections from their business associates. Business associates must similarly obtain assurances regarding an individual's personal health information from their subcontractors, and so on, no matter how far 'down the chain' the information flows. According to HHS, an entity (for example, a data storage company) that maintains PHI on a covered entity's behalf is a business associate, as opposed to a mere conduit (that is, for purposes of the conduit exception for business associates), even if the entity does not actually view the PHI." (Practical Law Company)


Employer Health & Human Capital Congress - February 21-22, 2013 - Orlando, FL

Sponsored by World Congress

With deadlines looming, and Private Exchanges potentially shifting the employer-health care marketplace, focus on strategy planning and benchmarking. Talk directly to your counterparts in similar industries about next steps in these uncertain times.

[Guidance Overview]

Final IRS Regs Address on PCORI Fees (PDF)
"[A]though retiree-only plans are exempt from many ACA requirements, they are subject to the PCORI fee.... Sponsors of calendar plans must pay the PCORI fee by July 31st following the close of the plan year, the same date by which the plan must file its Form 5500 for that plan year if no extension is taken. This might limit the utility of the Form 5500 Method for those sponsors." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]

Determining Eligibility for Qualifying Employer Coverage for Exchanges
"[T]he proposed rules provide details on the method the IRS will use for determining whether or not an employer is liable under Code Sec. 4980H (Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage). The IRS will then certify to an employer whether or not the employer has any employees enrolled for one or more months in a qualified health plan (QHP) through an exchange for which a premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction is allowed or paid (Proposed Reg. Sec. 155.310)." (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business)

In Massachusetts Law, States Get a Health Overhaul Model
"[The Massachusetts] law that has resulted in more people visiting doctors, more employees getting coverage through their jobs and an increase of insured residents to 98 percent, far above the national average ... Other states would also do well to note the difficulties resulting from the law: a shortage of primary care doctors, which is expected to be an unintended consequence of the federal law, and an increase in the number of procedures that insurers were required to pay for, which raised costs." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Obamacare Leads to Work Limits for Part-Timers in Michigan Town
"The township Board of Trustees voted unanimously Jan. 16 to restrict township part-timers to a maximum work week of 28 hours. This keeps them from being designated as full-timers who must be provided health care coverage, according to the [Affordable Care Act]." (Observer & Eccentric)

Among Large Cities, Los Angeles Leads Nation in Prefunding of Retiree Healthcare Costs
"Los Angeles has the best-funded retiree health care among the nation's big cities ... and it's also paying a big price for a policy praised by many but practiced by only a few. The city's rare attempt to set aside money now to pay for retiree health care promised in the future accounts for nearly a quarter of the soaring retirement costs former Mayor Richard Riordan warns are driving the city toward bankruptcy. Most cities, as well as the state of California, just pay the annual health care bill for their retired workers." (CalPensions)

Health Insurance Exchanges: Coming to a Store Near You?
"The California Health Benefit Exchange board is hoping to get retail stores to provide in-store enrollment assistance for the state's Covered California individual health insurance exchange. To participate ... a store would have to get employees trained and certified as providers of in-person assistance ... Members of the Covered California enrollment team believe that retail stores are good vehicles for reaching uninsured residents where they live, work and play[.]" (LifeHealthPro)

Extensive California Health Exchange Plan Moves Forward
"California's nascent health-insurance shopping site faces a complex and expensive ramp-up process as it seeks to sign up customers from throughout the state's diverse communities. Officials ... laid out an action plan for outreach that includes signing up translators fluent in the 13 languages common in the Golden State. Because California's land mass is so huge, Covered California expects to develop seven geographical exchanges[.]" (Sacramento Bee)

UnitedHealth Improves Claim Payment Process
"Insurance regulators are no longer monitoring its claims payment practices after they concluded the nation's largest insurer has met all requirements under a settlement agreement. Insurance regulators in 41 jurisdictions, led by insurance commissioners in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa and New York, began monitoring UnitedHealth after doctors complained it wasn't paying claims or handling claim decision appeals in a timely manner[.]" (FierceHealthPayer)


Why Fight Obamacare Now? -- Because Cost Realities Are Setting In
"The reality of double-digit premium hikes is about to hit across America. Average people will be wondering, why was this titled the 'Affordable' Care act? Ask CFOs across the nation who got a nasty wake-up call three weeks ago when HHS announced a $63 per-covered employee and family member 'surcharge' to offset the cost of pre-existing condition coverage. Try that, times 100,000 employees and their families, to wreak havoc with your annual budgeting process." (Fox News)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Approves NYSE and NASDAQ Listing Standards Relating to Independence of Compensation Committees and Their Advisers (PDF)
"The final listing standards, as amended, require compensation committees to consider six independence factors before selecting or receiving advice from a compensation adviser. However, the final listing standards emphasize that nothing in the rules requires a compensation adviser to be independent, only that the compensation committee consider the six factors before selecting or receiving advice from such adviser. These requirements must be complied with by July 1, 2013." (Alston + Bird LLP)

Which is More Important to Recent Grads: Salary or Benefits?
"For today's graduates on the job hunt, the amount of numbers on a paycheck is becoming more important than benefits such as medical insurance and retirement plans when deciding to take a job offer. Earning an adequate salary to make ends meet should always take priority, but experts caution against overlooking the offerings in a benefits package." (FoxBusiness.com)

2013 Expanded Reporting and Disclosure Requirements Calendar (PDF)
"[W]ho, what, when and where reporting and disclosure information for single-employer pension and welfare plans under [ERISA]. Plan administrators can access concise instructions for filing reports with the [DOL], IRS and [PBGC], and for disclosing tax and benefit information to U.S. plan participants, beneficiaries and alternate payees." (Towers Watson)

Press Releases

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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