Bloomberg BNA's Pension & Benefits Blog is a special resource offered by Bloomberg BNA to provide commentary and insight on news and trends reported in our publications: Pension & Benefits Daily, Pension & Benefits Reporter, and the Benefits Practice Resource Center. The authors of the blog are members of our Pension & Benefits Publications Advisory Board.
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March 21, 2012
by Greta E. Cowart
During the February 28, 2012 ALI-ABA Video Broadcast program on Health Plans some representatives from the government provided us with their personal insights on how the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”) rules and templates should operate. Earlier this week the DoL posted FAQ VIII on its ACA website regarding the SBC that provided additional flexibility for employers. This is just a highlight of some of the important information learned during such program and from FAQ VIII.
July 14, 2011
For many states, the fastest increasing budget item is Medicaid. In states like Utah, Medicaid in a matter of years will become the largest single budget item, surpassing education which for decades has been the state’s largest expenditure. Other states are in a similar position. At a recent meeting of the National Governors Association, CNN reported that Governors have proposed spending $15.9 billion more in fiscal 2012 on Medicaid than in fiscal 2011 and at the same time are slashing higher education by $5 billion and K-12 education by $2.5 billion.
September 14, 2010
The provision of the PPACA is deceptively simple: "A group health plan (other than a self insured plan) shall satisfy the requirements of section 105(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to prohibition on discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals)." *** "Rules similar [my emphasis] to the rules contained in paragraphs (3),(4) and (8) of section 105(h) of such Code shall apply."
September 10, 2010
Health reform has many employers stretched to try to meet all of the requirements applicable for the first plan year beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010. One of the many difficulties faced by employers is determining what constitutes an essential health benefit on which there can be no annual or lifetime dollar limits on the value of benefits.
July 29, 2010
by Scott J. Macey
PPACA imposes new requirements on both insured and self-insured plans regarding their claim and appeal procedures, including a new requirement for an external appeal. The Departments of Labor, Treasury and HHS jointly issued interim final regulations on July 23 providing guidance on the new requirements (140 PBD, 7/23/10).
June 1, 2010
The VEBA Trust has three separate accounts, each holding assets transferred or to be transferred by one of the respective companies and was, at its inception on January 1, 2010, one of the nation’s largest health care operations.
April 8, 2010
Since many ERISA plans are in the process of preparing their audited financials for the 2009 Form 5500, this is a good time to to reflect on the nature and responsibilities that the plan administrator has in connection with the audit process. (As chair of the Audit Subcommittee for the committee that is the plan sponsor and plan administrator of the Goodyear Retiree VEBA, I had to think through these issues for our plan.)
June 2, 2009
by Andrew L. Oringer
It is not being controversial to say that there is a trend in the states in favor of permitting same-sex marriage. Previously, a broad array of employers had begun provide benefits for their employees' domestic partners. See generally Libert, Oringer & Raskin, "Same-Sex Marriage and Employee Benefits: The Approaching Revolution," 63 Empl. Ben. Plan Rev. 22.
December 12, 2008
The insolvency (whether or not in Chapter 11 reorganization) of the three automakers brings “legacy costs” back to the center stage of ERISA cutback negotiation and litigation.
September 30, 2008
Today's decision on the merits by the 9th Circuit in the Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. San Francisco case upholding the employer spending requirements of the San Francisco ordinance as not preempted by ERISA is a most interesting read.
September 8, 2008
While December is when most of us look back on the year coming to end and make plans and resolutions for the year about to begin, September is another one of those times for me. After all, it’s an important month in its own right—the start of the academic year (even if classes now begin in August), the official beginning of the race in election years like this one, the unofficial end of summer with Labor Day and lest we forget, the anniversary of ERISA’s passage.
IRS to Focus on Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans, Other Concerns Highlighted in Questionnaire
IRS Makes Employers’ Internal Controls a Priority in Employee Plan Audits
Implications of ASU 2011-4 for sponsors of ESOPs
FASB Issues Exposure Draft on ESOP Disclosures; Comment Period Open
Follow-Up Q&A From EBN Webinar