eBRIEFS Masthead

June 2011


Featured Article

Defining the Future of Consumer Directed Healthcare
While much remains uncertain about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its ability to reform our health care system, growing numbers of employers and employees are opting for a more hands-on approach to managing rising health care costs by adopting consumer-directed health plans.
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In This Issue
One Year Later, Companies Still Seek Answers on Health Care Reform
Beefing Up Dental Coverage
Teach 401(k) Participants What They Need to Know
You're The Boss: Things to Know About Insurance
Personal Lines: Insurance Insights Newsletter
Global Of Interest: Benefits Healthcare News
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 Legislative/Regulatory Update

New Medicare Part D Creditable/Non-Creditable Coverage Notices Released


The Medicare Part D annual enrollment period has changed to October 15th through December 7th. Based on this change in the Medicare Part D enrollment period, CMS updated the model notices that tell plan enrollees whether their benefits are considered creditable or non-creditable in relation to Part D plans.  Click here to view the creditable coverage notices and here to view the non-creditable coverage notices.

HHS Issues Final Regulations on Disclosure and Review of Rate Increases by Insurers

HHS has issued final regulations implementing the health care reform requirement for annual review of certain rate increases, which applies to health insurers offering coverage in the small group or individual markets.  Click here to read the highlights.

Maximum HSA Contribution to Rise Slightly in 2012


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2011-32, which announced various inflation-adjusted amounts for 2012 for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). The IRS calculates the annual adjustments using the 12-month period ending March 31.  Click here to continue.

IRS, DOL Increase Scrutiny of Section 403(b) Plans

Tax-exempt organizations are now two and a half years into a major overhaul of the tax regulations and other rules governing Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) retirement plans.  Click
here to continue.


 Health Care Reform

One Year Later, Companies Still Seek Answers on Health Care Reform


Issues include developing new ways to deliver and manage health benefits and keeping current with legislation and administration requirements. Are employers keeping up or waiting to see what unfolds?  Click here to continue.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Timeline for Businesses


The following chart is a summary of provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their impact on different funding types and lines of business.


 Benefit Trends

Beefing Up Dental Coverage May Help Lower Medical Costs


Studies have shown that there is a correlation between dental health and medical health.  An oral infection such as a cavity, tooth decay or gum disease can put you at risk for other problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. Gum disease in pregnant women has even been linked to lower birth weights and premature births.  Click here to continue.

Average Long-Term Health Care Claim $159,000 This Year


An average 4% annual increase in the size of long-term health care liability claims is outweighing a decrease in the frequency of such claims, according to a study Aon Corp. released Thursday.  Click here to continue.

Health Savings Account Enrollment Surges 14%

Enrollment in health savings accounts linked to high-deductible health insurance plans surged 14% to 11.4 million as of January 1, according to a recently released annual census.  Click here to continue.

Less Than Half of US Workers Protected From Disability


The majority of American workers lack either short-term or long-term disability insurance, and just 25% of workers completely understand the offerings, according at a new study.  Click here to continue.


 Retirement Plans

Teach 401(k) Participants the Most Important Thing They Need to Know 


Remember, 401k investors have to plan on having only one chance to pick a right investment strategy to meet their goals. Plan sponsors need to help them focus on the practical, not on the theoretical.  Click here to continue.

Compliance Checklist for Retirement Plans Subject to ERISA


This Checklist as a "quick glance" resource to help you meet plan reporting and disclosure requirements for plans subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of ERISA. It should help you provide timely and complete information to individuals and appropriate government agencies.  Click here to continue.

Retirement Plans Struggle with Annuity Issue


Helping retirees convert their own lifetime savings into a regular paycheck is proving a challenge for retirement plan sponsors.  Click here to continue.


 Risk Management

You're the Boss: Things to Know About Insurance

The question I now hear most often is: Do you have insurance? More experienced folks ask: Do you have business-interruption insurance? That is, recoupment of operating expenditures or lost revenues, maybe even payroll during this unplanned hiatus. The answer is that I am not quite sure; nothing about insurance is sure not the amount or the timing or the results of investigations or who is suing whom. Every claim is contested; every cost is subrogated. You never know how good your insurance is until you try to cash in your chips.  Click here to continue.

U.S. Calls Google China Allegation 'Very Serious'


Washington scrambled on Thursday to assess whether security had been compromised after Google Inc. revealed a major hacker attack targeting U.S. officials that the Internet giant pegged to China.  Click here to continue.

Less Active at Work, Americans Have Packed on Pounds


Looking beyond poor eating habits and a couch-potato lifestyle, a group of researchers has found a new culprit in the obesity epidemic: the American workplace.  A sweeping review of shifts in the labor force since 1960 suggests that a sizable portion of the national weight gain can be explained by declining physical activity during the workday. Jobs requiring moderate physical activity, which accounted for 50 percent of the labor market in 1960, have plummeted to just 20 percent.  Click here to continue.


 Personal Lines

Bollinger Insurance Insights Newsletter


Click here to read the most recent edition of Bollinger's Personal Lines Newsletter.

Tempted to Speed? Consider Your Auto Insurance

Steep prices at the gasoline pump aren't the only thing drivers need to worry about this summer travel season. Speeding tickets and other moving violations can increase your automobile insurance rates by double digits, a recent analysis shows.  Click
here to continue.

Don't Underestimate Your Exposure to Natural Catastrophes


Americans tend to be an optimistic bunch-which is typically a good quality to possess. A key exception, however, concerns our impressions that we are very unlikely to ever experience a devastating natural disaster. As you know, 2011 has already proven to be one of the very worst for natural catastrophes in decades. This reason alone should cause you to systematically consider your exposure to natural disasters and take sound action to mitigate these types of losses if one were to occur.  Click here to continue.


 Of Interest

Aetna Global Benefits: Healthcare News


Click here to read a report on healthcare issues around the world.

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