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.

Claims Appeal and Review Obligations Relaxed for Plans, Insurers

Plans and insurers will have an easier time complying with health reform’s internal appeals and external review rules, under rules issued today by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services. The changes, such as dropping the requirement for plans to display diagnosis and treatment codes on initial and final notifications of […]

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‘Mini-med’ plans get a new lease on limits

Employer sponsored health plans that set low annual limits on “essential” benefits have been able to apply to HHS for a waiver if they can demonstrate that compliance with June 28, 2010 interim final rules phasing out such caps would cause a “significant decrease in access to benefits or a significant increase in premiums.” Waivers […]

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Civil Unions Available Now in Illinois, and Soon in Delaware

Employers in Illinois that have not done so may need to adjust their plan documents to reflect the new legality of civil unions in that state. Civil unions are legal in Illinois, Hawaii and New Jersey — and will be available in Delaware next year. The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act went […]

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A Faulty Wellness Program Can Make Your Pocketbook Sick

Your wellness program is going well, with happier and healthier employees. But then, an employee sues the company alleging that the wellness program violates his rights. So your employees are healthier, but your company’s pocketbook is not in the best of condition, as it puts out money for legal fees. Do not let this happen […]

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I See Your Health Reform Study and Raise You Two

The White House felt it proper to refute McKinsey Co.’s health reform study (see yesterday’s post) finding that as many as 30 percent of employers will stop offering health insurance to their workers after reform takes full force in 2014. Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Anne DeParle cited three studies saying employers would continue covering workers unabated. […]

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Reform to Reduce Health as a Recruitment, Retention Tool

Workers’ enhanced ability under reform to get insurance apart from their employer reduces the importance of health insurance as a means to recruit, compensate and retain workers, a June 2011 study concludes. Researchers at McKinsey Quarterly also predicted that as many as 30 percent of employers could stop providing benefits to workers after health reform […]

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Health Reform Adds a Twist to College Graduation Celebrations

Once, parents were not the only ones celebrating a child’s college graduation — employers were too. While parents were looking forward to kids finally getting out on their own, employers were anticipating getting them off of their group health plan. But health care reform means that employers have to wait a little longer to break […]

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New HIPAA Rules Proposed for Disclosure Accounting

A dreaded accounting-of-disclosure rule for electronic protected health information (ePHI) will require action by many employers, in their roles of health plan sponsors. (Employers are not technically “covered entities” under HIPAA privacy but, in effect, must comply if they’re involved in plan administration.) The rule came out in proposed form on May 31. It would […]

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DOL to Free Up Fee Disclosure Timetable

It seems the voice of the retirement plan community has been heard — the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing extending the applicability dates of two controversial fee disclosure regulations. “Extending these dates will more closely align the application of the two rules and ensure that parties have sufficient time to comply with the […]

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