Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

Did You Know COBRA Notices Make Good Wedding Gifts?

COBRA Administrators: No need to order gifts off a wedding registry for soon-to-be-married employees — just print out and present to the couple a copy of the general/initial notice for COBRA continuation coverage, according to COBRA expert Paul M. Hamburger, Esq. Well, before you take this too seriously, some context is necessary. Hamburger, contributing editor […]

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Whistleblowing compliance officer: Trouble from within

Your company’s compliance officer — the person to whom you entrusted your confidential business information — alleges you wrongfully terminated her after she tried to prevent you from violating a federal law. This 8th Circuit opinion rules against the whistleblower in a case that is a fine example of internal breakdown handling a compliance complaint, and sparks […]

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DOL Issues Final Rule Extending Fee Disclosure Timetable

It’s now official: The effective dates regarding fiduciary and participant fee disclosure regulations for retirement plans have been extended. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule (which becomes effective July 15) providing that: Fiduciary-level Fee Disclosure Regulation: The effective date for the interim final rule is extended from July 16, 2011, […]

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Verizon ADA Settlement: More on leaves of absence as reasonable accommodation

Now that the dust is settling over the nationwide class-action disability discrimination lawsuit Verizon settled with the EEOC, we at the SmartHRManager blog wanted to ask HR professionals what this settlement means to their companies. To help you answer that question, take a look at the consent decree’s corporate improvement plan, which highlights what Verizon […]

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Firing Employees for Gross Misconduct: How Is COBRA Coverage Affected?

Employers should tread carefully when deciding not to offer COBRA continuation coverage due to “gross misconduct,” as a recent court case reminds. Here, a federal district court in Ohio held that a former employee’s conviction due to a sex offense, which led to his employment termination, was not yet enough to deny COBRA coverage due […]

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UCLA Hospital to Pay $865,500 in Latest HIPAA Privacy Settlement

In the latest big-ticket enforcement action for alleged HIPAA privacy and security violations, the University of California at Los Angeles Health System (UCLAHS) has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $865,500 to settle allegations the hospital violated HIPAA’s privacy and security rules. The settlement, announced July 7, resolves two […]

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Consumer-Directed Health Plans Like HSAs/HRAs Continue to Grow

Does your computer’s spelling function auto-correct “HSA” to “HAS”? Mine used to, not recognizing that this abbreviation is no longer an error, but represents health savings accounts (HSAs), one type of consumer-directed health plan that is fast becoming mainstream in the health benefits industry. Health savings accounts couple a tax-favored savings account that is used […]

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5500 Deadline for 403(b) Plans: Ready or Not, It’s Almost Here

Editor’s note: For purposes of this article, we are going to assume you know the basics. If you don’t, read BLR’s previous news coverage here and here. Sponsors of 403(b) plans, we really, really hope that by now you know whether or not you need to file Form 5500 for the 2009 plan year and […]

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Seeing Growth in Self-Funding, Aetna Spends $600M to Grow Into ASO Market

Industry experts are saying health reform is helping promote the self-funding of health benefits, particularly among smaller employers, which can allow employers to get more of a say over benefits design and payment and help avoid a few reform obligations. Large insurers are, accordingly, betting on self-funding and seeing opportunity in administrative services only (ASO) […]

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