Without Guidance, Firms Must Tread Lightly Around In-Plan Roth Conversions

Compliance Source: McKay Hochman [via BenefitsLink] The in-plan Roth conversion provision of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (H.R. 5297) became effective on September 27, 2010. The absence of IRS guidance leaves us with many questions regarding how to implement, administer and report such conversions. As we stated in our October 1st e-mail alert article, … Continued

NAIC Agrees on Medical Loss Ratios

NAIC unveils medical loss ratio rules under health reforms Health Care Reform Source: Business Insurance 21-Oct-2010 By Joanne Wojcik WASHINGTON—The National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners adopted a model regulation Thursday that includes definitions of which medical expenses can be counted toward insurers’ medical loss ratios under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under PPACA, … Continued

More Employers Offer Tuition Reimbursement as Benefit

Source: PLANSPONSOR 20-Oct-2010 By Rebecca Moore Eighty-five percent of employers in a recent survey report that their organization offers tuition assistance to their employees, compared with 52 percent that said so in late 2007. However, according to the survey of tuition assistance plan practices by BLR, this increase in companies providing tuition was accompanied by … Continued

Health Care Costs Vary Widely By State

The nation’s largest health plan survey cites significant health plan cost disparity between states, suggesting that creating parity through a national plan may be difficult.

HHS Issues New Guidance On Kids’ Insurance Policies

By Mary Agnes Carey KHN Staff Writer OCT 13, 2010 Health insurers can’t have different rules for when individual policies are sold for children with medical problems than for healthy kids, the Department of Health and Human Services said today. Some insurers want to allow healthy children to enroll year-round but only have a limited … Continued

Agencies Tweak Rules on OTC Drugs, Claims

More than six months have passed since President Barack Obama signed the health care reform bill into law. A number of provisions are now in effect, and federal agencies are working to clarify lingering questions in the legislation. One aspect that could have a significant impact on employers and employees — reimbursement for medical expenses … Continued

Employees Turn Their Focus to Benefits

As enrollment for 2011 calendar-year plans kicks into high gear, a series of studies suggest that employees are changing their attitudes — and their demands — about employee benefits. For 2010 coverages, many employees (45 percent) actively chose their benefits rather than simply defaulting to what they had in the previous year, according to new … Continued

No Slow Grandpas: Firms Wishing to Grandfather Plans Must Act Swiftly

Source: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP [via BenefitsLink] 05-Oct-2010 By Richard J. Birmingham If you maintain an insured health plan, the starting point for any grandfather analysis is with your insurance carrier. Many insurance carriers serving midsized employers have indicated they are going to issue new policies and, therefore, grandfathering will not be an option. If … Continued

Judge OKs Reform Lawsuit for Trial

Source: The Associated Press [via The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News] By Melissa Nelson Crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care overhaul can go to trial, with a judge saying [this week] he wants to hear more arguments over whether it’s constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance. In … Continued

Researchers See Real Worth in Wellness

Source: Crain’s Detroit Business [via AHIP Wellness SmartBrief] 10-Oct-2010 By Jay Greene Dee Edington is optimistic that companies are starting to understand the relationship between healthy employees and profitability. “I am positive about wellness. Companies have been adopting it more the past couple years, and it has grown exponentially,” said Edington, director of the University … Continued

 

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