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August 12, 2014          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Planning Consultant
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in OK

ESOP Administrator
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in ANY STATE

Pension Consultant/Administrator
Third Party Administrators, Inc.
in NH

Document Support Specialist
ftwilliam.com [Wolters Kluwer Law & Business]
in ANY STATE

Director of Compliance
ERISA Pros
in GA

Senior Defined Benefit Data Analyst
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in MA

Defined Benefit Calculation Developer
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in MA

VP Retirement Planning Services
Benefit Sources & Solutions Chadler
in NJ

Relationship Manager
New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in ANY STATE

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Webcasts and Conferences

Faster, Easier, Better Value: It's Not too Late to Switch to a Better Document System for PPA
August 14, 2014 WEBCAST
(ASC Institute)

Solving the Benefits Time/Cost Crunch of Managing Employee Benefits
August 19, 2014 in NJ
(Corporate Synergies)

ERISA Basics National Institute
October 16, 2014 in IL
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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

Employers Should Prepare Now for 2015 to Avoid ACA Penalties
"[E]mployers should review their data collection procedures to ensure that they will be able to report the healthcare information required to be reported for 2015 ... Insurers, sponsors of self-insured plans, and other entities that provide minimum essential coverage during a calendar year will be required to report certain information to the [IRS] and to participants. In addition, applicable large employers will be required to report about the coverage they provide to both the IRS and to their employees." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)  


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Providence's Autism-Related Coverage Denials Violated Mental Health Parity
"[The Oregon District Court] ruled Aug. 8 that the insurer's failure to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy violated the federal mental health parity act, because it imposed a treatment limitation on mental health benefits that didn't apply to other types of benefits. The coverage denials also violated Oregon law mandating mental health parity and coverage for minors with developmental disorders, the court determined." [A.F. v. Providence Health Plan, No. 3:13-cv-00776-SI (D. Ore. Aug. 8, 2014)] (Bloomberg BNA)  

D.C. Court of Appeals Grants Contraceptive Coverage Exemption for Freshway Foods
"Fresh Unlimited Inc. won't have to provide contraceptive coverage for its employees under the Obama administration's health-care reform law, in what may be the first exemption granted since a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The parent of Freshway Foods [on August 8] won an appeals court ruling that qualifies it for the same treatment the high court approved in its June 30 Hobby Lobby decision allowing family-run businesses to claim a religious exemption from the requirement to include contraceptives in their health insurance plans." (Bloomberg)  

Court Imposes COBRA Notice Penalties Even Though Employer Had Paid Unreimbursed Medical Bills
"Simply paying unreimbursed expenses does not cure the statutorily defined harm. The notice requirement exists to make sure the notices are timely issued and not tied to any actual loss. So employers should not assume that the remedy for COBRA violations is limited to simply covering unpaid expenses. The notice requirements carry their own risk and should be strictly followed to avoid those separate penalties." [Honey v. Dignity Health, No. 2:12-cv-00416-MMD-GWF (D. Nev. June 16, 2014)] (Fox Rothschild LLP)  

Tenth Circuit Finds Employer Was Justified in Firing Employee for Failing to Cooperate with FMLA Leave Approval Process
"The decision recognized that when the county suspended and then terminated Dalpiaz while she was apparently on intermittent FMLA leave, the employment discharge interfered with Dalpiaz' FMLA rights. Nevertheless, the court concluded that the record did not support an inference that Dalpiaz' termination was related to her FMLA leave.... The court concluded that the county had successfully established that it would have terminated Dalpiaz regardless of her request for FMLA leave, 'and for the same type of conduct outside of the FMLA context.'" [Dalpiaz v. Carbon County, No. 13-4062 (10th Cir. July 25, 2014) ] (McAfee & Taft)  


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Employer's FMLA Defense Harmed by 'Improper' Request for More Medical Proof
"An employee who took 'unexcused' leave from work ... was fired after failing to submit medical certification forms in a timely manner. The deadline complied with the [FMLA]; however, a federal district court held that a jury should decide whether the employer actually interfered with the employee's FMLA rights by failing to 'properly' request the health care provider's certification and advise the employee that she would lose her job if the completed form was not received within the requisite timeframe." [Barker v. Genesys PHO, LLC, No. 13-CV-11828 (E.D. Mich. July 24, 2014)] (Thompson SmartHR Manager)  

Upcoming HIPAA Deadlines for Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans
"Employers that sponsor a group health plan subject to HIPAA should review their plan's business associate agreements to determine whether an amendment or restatement is needed prior to the September 22, 2014 deadline.... [Each] self-insured employer-sponsored group health [plan] subject to HIPAA [is required] to use a unique health plan identifier code (HPID) to identify itself when conducting certain electronic transactions (e.g., electronic claims payment). In addition, all other covered entities will be required to use the health plan's HPID when identifying the plan in such transactions. Plans subject to this new requirement must register with HHS by November 5, 2014 to obtain an HPID." (Bass, Berry & Sims)  

Colorado Levying Fees on Health Insurance to Help Fund State Exchange
"The fee of $1.25 per member per month will be imposed on individual insurance stop-loss coverage and large- and small-group employer policies issued in Colorado from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, an additional expense that employers in the state will need to factor in as they build their benefits package." (Employee Benefit Adviser)  

Voluntary Benefits Provide Safety Net for Employees with High-Deductible Health Plans
"Some employers have even gone as far as providing employees with a base level of critical illness, hospital indemnity or accident coverage at no cost, and then offering them the option to purchase additional levels of voluntary coverage for a higher premium. Since these types of scenarios tend to increase employee participation rates, insurance carriers are more likely to offer lower coverage rates as well." (William Gallagher Associates)  

Use Open Enrollment to Make Improvements and Ensure ACA Compliance
"Open enrollment is a good time ... to update materials to prepare for 2015 changes, including eligibility terms in those materials that might reflect an employer's pay or play strategy with regard to the ACA's employer mandate, and for reviewing processes for offering coverage to employees identified as full-time. Employers can also use the open enrollment process to capture 2015 data needed for minimum essential coverage and employer shared responsibility reporting." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)  

ACA Premiums Slated to Rise by an Average of 7.5 Percent
"The highest proposed rate increase so far came in Nevada, where consumers with Time Insurance Co. might see their insurance premiums rise by 36 percent. Some consumers in Arizona, on the other hand, could see rates drop by 23 percent. Overall, the highest average price increases under ObamaCare so far have come in Indiana, where some consumers will see prices rise by 15.4 percent. The biggest average savings were found in Oregon, where premiums will drop an average of 2.5 percent in 2015." (The Hill)  

GAO Report: Cost-Effective Services in Recent Peer-Reviewed Health Care Literature
"Given the lack of readily available detailed information on the value of preventive services, GAO was asked for additional information on the services that may be potentially cost-effective or cost saving. In this report GAO examined recent peer-reviewed literature to identify preventive services that were shown to be cost-effective and the extent of potential cost savings of these services." (U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO])  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits 'Crisis' Management: Uncertainty and the Workplace (PDF)
16 pages. "Whether it's the looming retirement crisis some see (or see for some) on the horizon, the crippling impact of college debt on the finances (and future financial security) of younger Americans, or the health care crisis that the [ACA] was designed to forestall (or that some say is destined to create), those at nearly every point of the political spectrum are challenged with the urgency of the need to address the 'crisis.' But do current circumstances actually constitute a 'crisis'?" (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])  

Performance-Based Long-Term Incentive Compensation: The Devil in the Details
"45% of executive long-term incentive (LTI) compensation was delivered through performance plans last year, up from 38% in 2011. 32% was delivered through options, down from 37% in 2011. 23% came in the form of restricted stock, down from 25% in 2011. Despite the growing popularity of performance share/unit plans, these arrangements have a number of accounting nuances that could present surprises." (Towers Watson)  

Use of Performance Awards for CEOs Continues to Rise
"Mercer's latest analysis of compensation and benefits for CEOs at 240 companies in the S&P 500 reveals CEOs earned a median total compensation package of $9,656,000 with approximately two-thirds of the value coming from long-term incentive grants. Pay in the form of long-term incentives climbed to a median $6,457,000, a median year-over-year change of 4%." (Mercer)  

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