October 2011  |  Volume 2, Number 10


Generic Alert: Pre-Launch of atorvastatin (Lipitor®)

Lipitor is the best-selling drug of all time. It is also very expensive, with an average wholesale price of $120 to $180 per month. By continually modifying the uses for Lipitor, its manufacturer, Pfizer, has maintained its patent and accompanying high costs for 26 years. That is all about to change.


On November 30, 2011, a generic version of Lipitor will be available. This is welcome news for the millions of people who take Lipitor, but struggle with the monthly cost. It is also welcome news for group health plans struggling to control costs. 


Click here to read a news release from CVS Caremark about Lipitor.

HR360 Updates

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15; New Deadline to Provide Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosures

As a reminder, the Medicare fall Open Enrollment period now begins on October 15 and ends December 7. This means plan sponsors of group health plans (including employers) that provide prescription drug coverage must distribute required creditable coverage disclosure notices to Medicare eligible participants prior to October 15. The Medicare Modernization Act requires entities whose policies include prescription drug coverage to notify Medicare eligible policyholders whether their prescription drug coverage is creditable coverage, which means that the coverage is expected to pay, on average, as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage.


For such an entity, there are two disclosure requirements:

  1. A written disclosure notice to all Medicare-eligible individuals annually who are covered under its prescription drug plan, prior to October 15 each year and at various specified times, including when an individual joins the plan. This disclosure must be provided to Medicare-eligible active working individuals and their dependents, Medicare-eligible COBRA individuals and their dependents, Medicare-eligible disabled individuals covered under the prescription drug plan, and any retirees and their dependents.
  2. The Online Disclosure to CMS form to report the creditable coverage status of its prescription drug plan. The Disclosure should be completed annually no later than 60 days from the beginning of a plan year, within 30 days after termination of a prescription drug plan, or within 30 days after any change in creditable coverage status.

For further information regarding Medicare Open Enrollment, please click here. You can also visit the HR360 section on Medicare to learn more about the program and the employer notice requirements under Part D (including model notices).

In This Issue
Generic Alert
HR360 Updates
Wisconsin Updates


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. 
Wisconsin Updates
Update on State of Wisconsin Imputed Tax for Adult Dependents 

The Wisconsin legislature is re-convening in October, and it appears likely that the legislature will vote on tax legislation that will change Wisconsin's tax law regarding imputed income for health coverage for adult children so that it matches the federal tax law. The current draft of the legislation indicates that the effective date of the tax change will be retroactive to January 1, 2011. In cooperation with our legal advisors, BSG will continue to monitor developments.


How to Design or Refine Your Wellness Program for Optimal Results

Michelle Spehr, Wellness Manager, is dedicated to helping employers address and solve some of the greatest challenges they face including improving employee health behavior, improving employee health status and managing health care costs.


This summer Michelle conducted workshops at the Health and Welfare Plan Management Conference for Mid-Sized Employers in Chicago and Las Vegas, and also hosted a webinar, where she discussed the nuts and bolts of getting a sustainable wellness program revved up and running smoothly.


Whether they were starting from zero or felt their current wellness program could use some fine tuning, attendees left with best-practice perspectives to guide their wellness programming efforts.


We're pleased to offer Enlighten readers a copy of the presentation handouts and a FREE CD of the webinar. Learning objectives from this session include:

  • Discover why wellness is growing in importance for employers
  • Learn how to select the right wellness program model for your organization
  • Identify the behavior-change strategies that lead to success

If you would like to view the presentation handouts, click here. If you would like to order a FREE CD of the webinar, simply send your request to: Ashley.Rusch@bsg.com. About Michelle: click here.  

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

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.