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October 4, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Large Group Benefit Consultant
Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

401k Recordingkeeping Specialist
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in NY

Sales Representative
FBMC Benefits Management, Inc.
in FL

Employee Benefits Account Manager
Johnson & Dugan
in CA

Director, ERISA Consulting
Goldleaf Partners
in MN

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Webcasts and Conferences

Retirement in 2050: Generation Y Planning
October 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(Center for State and Local Government Excellence)

M&A Transactions & Underfunded Benefit Plan Issues Explored
October 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(Knowledge Group)

RMD Intricacy
October 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Ethics Case Studies One
October 22, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Health Reform: Beyond the Basics of Plan Selection and Enrollment
October 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Affordable Care Act 101 Webinar
October 31, 2013 WEBCAST
(U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA))

7th Annual Opportunities in the DCIO Market Summit
January 14, 2014 in MA
(Financial Research Associates)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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

Text of CMS Federally Facilitated Marketplace Enrollment Operational Policy & Guidance Manual
44 pages. Excerpt: "The information provided in this document applies to entities that have a role in the enrollment process, including, but not limited to: [1] The Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs); [2] The Federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Programs (FF-SHOPs); [3] Qualified Health Plans (QHPs); [4] Agents and Brokers (A/B); [5] Third-Party Administrators (TPAs); and [5] Trading Partners such as Clearinghouses." (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)  


[Advert.]

Wellness Programs: Impact of the New HIPAA Nondiscrimination Regulations - October 21 Webinar

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

This live webinar reviews new HIPAA nondiscrimination regulations, other regulatory developments, case law, and other developments, and requirements of wellness programs. Registration discount for BenefitsLink readers.



[Official Guidance]

CMS Reminder Regarding Plan Sponsor's Responsibilities for Phase-down of ERRP
"CMS is phasing down the ERRP Secure Website (SWS) so that it can be taken offline during the first week of January 2014.... We encourage Plan Sponsors to review information available in the SWS to determine what, if any, information or data should be printed and/or saved before the system is taken offline.... [P]rogram recordkeeping requirements do not end on January 1, 2014. Plan Sponsors are required ... to maintain and furnish to the HHS Secretary upon request, certain records enumerated in those regulations. As an example, ERRP Plan Sponsor audits are ongoing and audited Plan Sponsors will be required to supply documentation to the auditors to demonstrate compliance with the rules of program participation." (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)  

[Guidance Overview]

California Law Restricting Stop-Loss Approved
"S.B. 161, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2014, will prohibit stop-loss insurers in California from issuing policies with specific deductibles below $35,000 for self-funded employer plans. After Jan. 1, 2016, the law increases the minimum specific attachment point to $40,000. Also under the law, starting Jan. 1, aggregate attachment points cannot be less than $5,000 times the total number of group members, 120 percent of expected claims, or $35,000 ($40,000 after Jan. 1, 2016)." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)  

Software Problems, Not Just Demand, May Be Behind Marketplace Glitches
"Insurers are increasingly promoting their own websites as alternative venues for consumers to compare plans and even create accounts for later follow-up.... The Obama administration said it was working hard to fix the problems which it continued to attribute to high demand.... 'This is not a glitch. A glitch is a minor problem,' said Robert Laszewski, a consultant and former insurance executive. 'The real story is that the Obamacare computer systems simply are not working.'" (Kaiser Health News)  

Insurers See Some Enrollment on New Health Exchanges
"'I'd characterize the enrollments as a trickle rather than a wave at this early stage,' said Raymond Smithberger, general manager for individual and family plans at Cigna Corp., which was notified of its first enrollees Wednesday night. WellPoint Inc. said it began receiving enrollees from the federal marketplace Thursday, but it was too soon to give precise numbers.... In California, managed-care firm Health Net Inc. couldn't confirm any enrollments, saying insurers in the state hadn't yet received such information from the state-run marketplace. Blue Shield of California said it was aware of some prospective enrollees 'anecdotally, through social media.'" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

Shutdown May Delay ACA Guidance
"While the [employer] mandate has been delayed until 2015, employers need to start preparing for it now by figuring out how they're going to accurately measure and report to the IRS on which employees qualify as full time workers.... [U]pdated guidance was expected in November but the shutdown may delay it." (Employee Benefit Adviser)  

Retiree Health Insurance for Public School Employees: Does it Affect Retirement?
"[T]he availability of retiree health insurance for older workers allows employees to retire earlier. These behavioral changes have budgetary implications, likely making the programs self-financing rather than costly to taxpayers." (Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick via SSRN)  

Are Retiree Health Care Benefits Empty Promises?
"[A] California Superior Court judge [recently] struck down efforts by the city of Los Angeles to limit that city's contributions to retiree health care benefits.... Moody's Investors Service calls the implications 'significant' because the decision implies that the benefits have legal protections comparable to pensions.... Moody's ... said the ruling will have a negative impact on Los Angeles' credit rating as well as San Jose as that city is also dealing with similar litigation." (Governing)  

Out-of-Pocket Costs Projected to Fall Under ACA
"The lowest-income individuals receiving coverage in the ACA's individual market -- those making between 100% and 138% of the federal poverty level -- are expected to see their out-of-pocket costs drop from about $1,446 in 2016 without the ACA to $506 with the law. The 11.4 million people making between 138% and 400% of poverty will have their out-of-pocket costs drop from about $1,969 to $1,224." (MedPage Today)  

[Opinion]

BCBSA Named Multi-State Plan Program Participant; Playing Field Leveled?
"As the first meaningful public development in [multi-state plan (MSP)] implementation, Monday's announcement reveals two truths: [1] The program will provide more (seemingly portable) coverage options to individuals and small businesses purchasing through exchanges; but [2] Given its limited roll-out and the Blues' already-dominant market position, real, increased choice and competition may be elusive goals.... The ACA mandates that the OPM sign contracts with at least two insurers; and, despite the fact that six entities have expressed interest, only one has been green-lighted. More significantly, BCBSA's initial offerings are sparse and not universally available." (HighRoads)  

Press Releases

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