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August 8, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Service Representative
for Associated Pension Consultants in CA

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Sunrise Senior Living in VA

RFP Consultant
for Lincoln Financial Group in IN, PA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Impact of the New HIPAA HITECH Regulations -- Webcast
August 13, 2013 WEBCAST
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

2013 Webinar: Advanced HSAs
August 22, 2013 WEBCAST

The Dos and Don'ts of Full Replacement HSA Programs -- Webcast
August 28, 2013 WEBCAST
(Tango Health)

Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress
November 3, 2013 in NV
(Employer Healthcare Congress)

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  LinkedIn   Twitter   Facebook Hand-picked links to the web's best news articles,
official guidance, jobs, webcasts and more.
[Official Guidance]

Get Answers to Your SHOP and Small Business Questions
"Employers that are eligible for SHOP can call 1-800-706-7893 to get general SHOP and small business questions answered by a customer service representative in English or Spanish.... We're working on being able to offer help in other languages. Current call center hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST." (HealthCare.gov)  


23rd Annual National Health Benefits Conference & Expo

Sponsored by HBCE- Health Benefits Conference & Expo

The Biggest Challenge Remains: Addressing the Most Intractable Cost Problem Facing Employers, Employees & Governments at All Levels - January 28-29, 2014 - Clearwater Beach, FL. High quality, moderate cost - Register now for best rates!

[Guidance Overview]

CMS Issues Guidance Clarifying Policy on Income Verification by Health Exchanges
"CMS clarified that exceptions to the full income verification requirements would apply only to exchanges operated in the 16 states and District of Columbia that have opted to build and operate their own exchanges. In the 34 states not building their own exchanges -- where the so-called federally facilitated exchange will operate -- CMS said it will require full income verification in all instances." (Bloomberg BNA)  

[Guidance Overview]

OPM Issues Proposed Regs on Participation in Health Exchanges by Members of Congress
"Only one group of Americans is required to purchase insurance through the exchanges: members of Congress and their personnel staffs (in Washington and in the districts, but not committee staff or other congressional employees).... The proposed rule provides, as expected, that the federal government will pay a share of exchange premiums, 72 percent of the cost of the weighted average of Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) plans or 75 percent of the premium of the chosen plan, whichever is less.... [T]he rule clarifies that plans that are certified as qualified health plans by an exchange will also qualify as 'health benefit plans' for FEHBP coverage. The federal government will, therefore, be able to make a contribution to cover a share of the premiums of an exchange plan." (Timothy Jost in Health Affairs)  

Higher Costs Ahead under Obamacare for Some Members of Congress and Staffers
"In the federal employee program, people in the same health plan generally pay the same premiums, regardless of their age or place of residence. However, for health plans sold on the exchanges, premiums can vary, based on a person's age, tobacco use and place of residence. A person like [Sen. John] Boehner, who turns 64 in November, might be charged three times as much as a 23-year-old. And as a smoker, he could be charged up to 50 percent more than a nonsmoker of the same age.... The [ACA] requires members of Congress and many of their aides to get their employer-based coverage through exchanges." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)  

DOL Busts Employer for Requiring Annual Medical Certification Without Leave Request
"Whether it's improperly denying FMLA leave, mishandling the medical certification process or fudging up return-to-work rules, employers have found themselves in the crosshairs of the DOL lately when it comes to FMLA. One recent DOL press release stood out ... because it involved a mistake employers occasionally make in the medical certification and recert process. In this case, the DOL accused a healthcare services company in New Mexico of automatically renewing medical certification requests from employees, even though the request didn't involve an actual employee absence." (FMLA Insights)  

Colorado Presses for Uninsured to Enroll
"Television commercials have already run suggesting that buying health coverage through the state's new insurance market, Connect for Health Colorado, will feel like winning the World Series. The market's employees are traveling the state to explain how it will work, often in electric yellow T-shirts with the message, "Got Insurance?" In the coming weeks, 400 guides will be trained to help the uninsured sign up for coverage, with some targeting groups like Hispanics, gay and lesbian citizens, and even truckers." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)  

Health Insurers Tune In to Twitter for Customer Service
"[I]nsurance companies are increasing their social media presence in an effort to amp up their customer service and capitalize on a platform that can serve to mediate, inform and advertise. The accounts also help companies manage their brands and do quick damage control on complaints aired in this public sphere. The accounts, which include @askanthem, @cignaquestions and several accounts for various Blue Cross Blue Shield companies around the country, are often separate from larger company accounts that focus on marketing and sharing relevant health care news." (Kaiser Health News)  

Uninsured People with Preexisting Conditions Still Don't Know If They'll Buy Health Insurance
"About 16 percent of the consumers surveyed said they don't have health insurance of any kind ... But many of these uninsured consumers aren't clamoring to get health insurance yet: Nearly 70 percent of uninsured consumers with a preexisting condition and 57 percent of uninsured consumers without any health issues, said they aren't sure if they'll buy health insurance." (InsuranceQuotes.com)  

Large Group Medical Insurance Reserves, Liabilities, and Actuarial Assets (PDF)
"This practice note attempts to address issues regarding the valuation actuary's responsibilities ... related specifically to determining reserve levels and other actuarial assets and liabilities for large group medical (LGM) insurance coverage. The practice note also comments on GAAP accounting, but the primary focus is statutory accounting. This practice note is not intended to cover liability estimation for self-funded employer groups." (Large Group Medical Business Practice Note Work Group of the American Academy of Actuaries)  

Aetna vs. Obamacare
"So Aetna is pulling out of ObamaCare in Connecticut. As corporate identity crises go, this is like L.L. Bean quitting Maine or Apple leaving California -- for the moon. The iconic Connecticut-based company ... has been embroiled in a dispute with regulators over the premiums it wanted to charge next year on the state's subsidized insurance exchange ... Those rates must be approved by the state, which demanded arbitrarily lower ones in return for permission to sell its products." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

The Dishonor System: How to Commit Obamacare Fraud in 2014
"A user's guide to committing fraud on the Obamacare exchanges ... [The author's] purpose is to inform [his] readers just how tempting fraud on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges will be in light of the recently announced delays in employer reporting and employer mandates. There are three types of fraud worth considering, each reflecting different motivations and degrees of risk tolerance among the hypothetical individuals considered." (The Weekly Standard)  

Ohio Won't Promote Health Insurance Enrollment, But Advocates and Politicians Say They Will
"Ohio's Department of Insurance has planned no marketing, advertising or outreach to promote the Affordable Care Act, even though enrollment begins in less than two months. Consumers nonetheless can expect to hear plenty about it -- the good, the bad and, especially, the political -- in coming weeks." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)  

Premium Rate Variation Among Health Exchanges Is Eye-Opener
"Like a burlesque strip tease for health policy wonks, the slow motion unveiling of premiums for state health insurance exchanges has generated a lot of attention, unease, and, yes, excitement.... Putting aside the 'rates are too high' vs. 'rates are well below expectation' arguments, one fact seems obvious from looking at the rates. With the very big exception of California, the variance among plan rates is startling." (Health Affairs)  


Health Insurance Exchanges and the ACA: What To Expect on October 1
"[W]hat should Americans expect on October 1 when the health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, open for business and individuals and small businesses try to buy insurance through them? Success or failure? The not-so-simple answer is: Both! And everything in between." (Brookings)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

2013 Say on Pay Voting Results as of August 5, 2013
"2,780 companies have held Say on Pay votes in 2013. 57 companies have failed with an average 60% 'Against' vote.... 71% of companies have received a greater than 90% 'For' vote." (Steven Hall & Partners)  


What Its Proponents Get Wrong About the CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure
"Some observers are convinced that proxy disclosure of the ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker will enhance investor understanding of companies' pay practices and philosophies. It won't.... [A] single number cannot reveal if CEO pay is excessive unless it's compared to some measure of the value created, and the Dodd-Frank pay ratio will not do that." (Towers Watson)  

Press Releases

US Labor Department Finds Violations of Federal Job-protected Leave, Back Wages for Worker at T.G.I. Fridays
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), U.S. Department of Labor

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