March 2011  |  Volume 2, Number 3

Contract, Compliance and Research Updates
New Rule Ensures Students Get the Health Insurance Protections of the Affordable Care Act

A new proposed regulation announced February 9, 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would ensure students enrolled in health insurance coverage through their college or university benefit from critical consumer protections created by the Affordable Care Act. Students enrolled in college plans wouldn't have to worry about losing their insurance, or having it capped unexpectedly if they are in an accident or become sick.

Read the full article.


Federal Labor Laws by Number of Employees

HR360 developed an easy-to-use chart that features the major federal labor laws which are relevant to a company, based on the number of employees.

Download the 2011 Federal Labor Law Chart.


Guidance on Non-Grandfathered Plans' Claims and Appeals Procedures Required by the Affordable Care Act

[This article] concludes with lists of action steps, including what non-grandfathered group health plans must do to comply with the new internal claims and appeals procedures and what they must do to implement the new external review appeal rules. (The Segal Group, Inc.) [Guidance Overview]

Read the full article.

Wisconsin Updates
With recent news focused on the Wisconsin budget process, we offer the following studies as background information.

WEA-Owned Health Plan Among the Most Expensive in Wisconsin  
The insurance company set up by the state teachers union to sell health care benefits to school districts is one of the largest, and most expensive, group health insurers in the state. When compared to plans providing similar coverage in the same geographic area, the family premium charged by the WEA Trust is up to 9 percent more expensive than the average family premium charged by other insurers, according to an analysis conducted by HCTrends.

Read the full article.


The Budget-Repair Bill's Impact on Wisconsin State Employee Health Benefit Costs
Even with the changes in the proposed budget-repair bill, Wisconsin taxpayers will be very generous to state employees, who will pay less toward their family health insurance premium than most other Midwestern states and the vast majority of large employers in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Read the full article.

In This Issue
Contract, Compliance and Research Updates
Wisconsin Updates
Value-Based Purchasing Guide website
HR & Benefit Essentials has changed to HR360*
More information regarding Health Care Reform and other benefit resources is available on the HR360 website, available to BSG clients under the "Resources" menu of their HR Express website. HR360 includes new features including step-by-step interactive guides which make the processes of hiring, termination, COBRA and FMLA so much easier in addition to the new online tools such as job description builder and salary benchmarking tool.
BSG subscribes to this service for your benefit. If you would like more information regarding this resource please contact your account management team at BSG. 

*The HR & Benefit Essentials website has a new name and look. You can still access HR360 as instructed above. 
Value-Based Purchasing Guide Website is Now Available to the General Public

The Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Guide is a tool developed by the National Business Coalition on Health to support the critical role purchasers and purchaser-led coalitions play as change agents in improved health and health care. The Guide educates such stakeholders on how they may implement value-based purchasing programs in their own organizations and local communities. (National Business Coalition on Health)

Click here to learn more about the VBP Guide.

Enlighten is published by The Benefit Services Group, Inc., (BSG®) and is provided free of charge to select BSG client representatives and associates.BSG logo

By providing links to other sites, BSG does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to BSG.

The preceding is not intended to be and is not offered as legal advice. We are prohibited from the practice of law. Compliance is the responsibility of the employer or Plan sponsor and affected employees who should seek their own legal counsel regarding questions about information presented in this newsletter.

Copyright© 2011 The Benefit Services Group, Inc. BSG® is a registered trademark of The Benefit Services Group, Inc.