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.

Your Tracking Nightmare —Multiple Stacking Leaves

What’s Happened in Leave Land? The first challenge is the multiplicity of types of leave entitlements—workers’ compensation, short-term disability, FMLA, Military FMLA, state family leave, paid family leave, and the ADA. The result? Potential stacking of up to 5 or more types of leave, says Southard. The second big factor, she adds, is the explosion […]

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Medical Loss Ratio Rule: Employers that get rebates must divide them among employees

Employers that sponsor health plans might get rebates from their group health insurers thanks to health reform, but if they do, they are required to pass the proper amount of the rebate on to employees. Under the medical loss ratio (MLR) rule (mandated by the 2010 reform law), health insurers must spend a minimum percentage […]

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San Francisco Expands Employer Health Reimbursement Role

On Jan. 1, employers in San Francisco will have to make sure that employee health reimbursement accounts the city requires them to fund are available to employees for two years, not just one. Amendments to the  Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) add to the requirements the city already has in place to establish access to universal […]

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Big Government Teams Up With Small Business to Rein in Health Insurer Rate Inflation

Using a new power under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the first time, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now ordered an insurance company to lower its rates. Since September 2011, HHS has been flagging any insurer that raises premiums on small businesses and individuals by 10 percent or more. […]

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DOL Clarifies Mental Health Parity’s Effect on Pre-Authorization

The effect of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) on prior authorization practices and other “nonquantitative treatment limitations” was clarified Nov. 17 in guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The MHPAEA interim final rules issued in February 2010 imposed a detailed numerical formula for determining whether quantitative limits such as copayments […]

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The Top 5 Reasons Employers Should Offer an FSA

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a common feature of employee benefit plans. But why would an employer offer an FSA plan to its employees? Well, it’s extra money in your workers’ pockets that you and your employees probably don’t want to leave lying on the IRS’ table. Karen Kirkpatrick, senior compliance adviser for Infinisource, explained […]

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Nifty HHS Site Enables Small Employers to Shop for Health Insurance

Are you shopping around for health insurance for your small company? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just unveiled a computerized search engine for health insurance policies, so you can search plans in much the same way the Medicare Part D program enables elderly folks to search prescription drug plans (or the way many […]

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6 Compliance issues for qualified retirement plans to check on by the end of 2011

With the year’s end fast approaching, employers that sponsor tax-qualified retirement plans should assess whether they may require amendments or administrative changes. To help with that process, Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the Employee Benefits Practice Group of McDermott Will & Emery’s Chicago office, and Brian J. Tiemann, also a member of that office, […]

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Schumer to Introduce Transit Parity Bill

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he was planning to introduce a bill to make permanent the parity between parking and transit tax breaks. Schumer argues that programs that make commuting less expensive should be protected, particularly in a time of economic hardship. The matter strikes close to home for Schumer, since his constituents include […]

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Supreme Court to Rule on Whether Health Reform Stands or Falls

Fast on the heels of the latest pertinent appeals court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court definitively announced on Nov. 14 it will decide the question of whether Congress exceeded its powers to regulate commerce when it required people to buy health insurance as part of health reform (or in the converse, whether the individual mandate is allowed […]

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