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.

CLASS Dismissed: Health Reform Law’s LTC Program Tabled

I’ve read how, due to the cost of administering long-term care (LTC) insurance, some private-sector vendors are either revisiting that benefit  or jacking up premiums — partly because not enough people are signing up to sufficiently spread the risk, and costs, around. Well, the federal health reform law included a lofty goal of establishing a […]

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Premium Subsidy Extension Passes Congress

A bill that would extend premium subsidies for health coverage under the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) program has been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, meaning it’s on the way to President Obama’s desk. The HCTC was enacted as part of the Trade Act of 2002. As originally enacted, it […]

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Pulled in 2 Directions: The Cost of Uniform Coverage Summaries

Health reform’s uniform summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) will cost insurers and third party administrators (TPAs) about $160 million over the next three years to develop, update, and provide the SBC and glossary to applicants and enrollees, its agency drafters estimate. That includes $25 million in 2011 , $73 million in 2012 and $58 million in […]

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What Do These Protesters Augur for Jobs and Benefits?

Last week I caught wind that some protesters were causing a street closure at the corner of 16th and I Streets, N.W., in Washington, D.C., a block from the White House and, as luck would have it, a block — in the other direction — from the editorial offices of Thompson Publishing Group. I grabbed […]

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Are your retirement plan’s fees excessive? Failed participant suits may inform plan sponsors

Federal courts on numerous occasions in the last two years have dismissed plan participant allegations that their employers charged excessive retirement plan fees. The rulings taken together say: If a plan is not enriching itself at participants’ expense — or operating with a conflict of interest in relation to its investment company — then it’s […]

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COBRA Coverage—Qualifying Event Determines Length

Length of COBRA coverage varies according to the type of qualifying event. The following events qualify an individual for COBRA continuation coverage if the event causes loss of coverage for a qualified beneficiary: Termination or reduction of hours of a covered employee other than because of the employee’s gross misconduct Death of a covered employee […]

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Not Again: SIIA Refutes ‘Misinformation’ About Self-funding

It’s like the Hollywood movie Groundhog Day all over again. The Self Insurance Institute of America (SIIA) wakes up and has to face the same “anti-self-funding” arguments about adverse selection, insolvency and inferior benefits that it refuted last year … the year before … and the year before that. Again in damage-control mode, this time the […]

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Small Employer Self-funding Must ‘Stop’: NAIC Adviser Touts Stop-loss Limits

Employers that want to self-fund their health benefits (and the vendors and attorneys who want to serve them) have yet another (as they see it) unreasonable opponent to self-insuring health benefits. An adviser to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has told NAIC that it should amend its model stop-loss coverage law to prohibit the […]

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TRICARE Suffers Texas-sized Data Breach

Stop me if you’ve heard this one — a car is burglarized, and hardware goes missing that turns out to have sensitive personal data on thousands of beneficiaries, employees, patients and customers. Same old story — but in the millions this time. Medical information on nearly 5 million military clinic and hospital patients was on backup […]

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Gross Misconduct—Can You Deny COBRA?

Gross Misconduct Means No COBRA, But … Termination for gross misconduct is not a qualifying event under COBRA, so COBRA continuation coverage does not have to be offered to an employee and his or her spouse and dependent children if the employee was terminated for gross misconduct. Unfortunately, the term “gross misconduct” is not defined […]

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