eBRIEFS Masthead

July 2011


Featured Article

GINA's Genetic Shake-Up
Employers are finding that they must make the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act part of their company's DNA. Click here to continue.


In This Issue
HHS Changes Annual Limit Waiver Procedure for Mini-Med Plans
SHRM 2011 Employee Benefits Report
Why Small Business has the 401(k) Benefits Edge
Bollinger's Risk Management Newsletter
Global Of Interest: Benefits Healthcare News
Quick Links

Check Out Our Bollinger Blog!



































































 For more information on

401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other Retirement Plans, send an email to John Draper





















Your FREE online resource for all your safety and OSHA compliance needs.  Whether it is safe driving tips or updating your online OSHA logs, Risk Advisor helps you establish a safety culture in your organization...all at your fingertips.  Click here  for more information.
For more information on our Risk Management products and services, email Nicole McPeek.

 Legislative/Regulatory Update

Important Changes in Interim Final Regulations on Internal Claims and Appeals Requirements and External Review Process


In a significant development, the interim final regulations on internal claims and appeals requirements and external review processes have been amended in several important ways.  Click here to continue.

Same-Sex Couples May Now Marry In New York -- Impact On Employee Benefits And Other Employment Right

The Act is quite broad. Based on the statutory language, all benefits and rights that are provided to employees' opposite-sex spouses as a result of a New York State statutory, decisional, administrative or other law must be provided to same-sex spouses married in New York or another jurisdiction where such marriages may legally be performed.  Click
here to continue.

Don't Forget to Double-Test Your Health Plan for Discrimination


Failure alert!  Plan sponsors who forget to actually do discrimination testing run into all sorts of problems, including the possibility that their plan can be disqualified.   Click here to continue.

Social Security Number Randomization


The Social Security Administration (SSA) is changing the way Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are issued. This change is referred to as "randomization." The SSA is developing this new method to help protect the integrity of the SSN. SSN Randomization will also extend the longevity of the nine-digit SSN nationwide.  Click here to continue.


 Health Care Reform

HHS Changes Annual Limit Waiver Procedure for Mini-Med Plans


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced new procedures for health plans with limited benefits (including so-called "mini-med" plans) to obtain temporary waivers of the restrictions on annual dollar limits that were imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Click here to continue.

Study Finds Insurance Improvements Could Help Employers


Improving health plan services that constrain costs and ease administrative hassles could go a long way toward keeping employers in the game as health care reform unfolds in 2014, according to a recently released J.D. Power and Associates survey.  Click here to continue. 

Health Insurance Exchange Regulations Proposed

The first of several long-anticipated regulatory proposals detailing the creation and membership of state-based health insurance exchanges was released on Monday.  The exchanges are a central component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and aim to provide subsidized coverage to at least 16 million people who have lacked coverage at some point in the past year.  Click here to continue.


 Benefit Trends

SHRM 2011 Employee Benefits Report: Examining Employee Benefits Amidst Uncertainty


SHRM's 2011 Employee Benefits  research report provides comprehensive information about the types of benefits U.S. employers offer to their employees. In 2011, 284 benefits were explored, covering the areas of health care and welfare benefits, preventive health and wellness benefits, retirement savings and planning benefits, financial and compensation benefits, leave benefits, family-friendly benefits, flexible working benefits, employee services benefits, housing and relocation benefits, and business travel benefits. The report also examines trends in employee benefit offerings over the last five year.  Click here to continue.
All's Fair in Health and Wellness

A few months ago, as I was taking photos of my third daughter in her royal-blue prom dress, I marveled at the glamorous young ladies in their strapless gowns and their handsome escorts in black tuxedos, matching vests and ties. They exude health and fitness. It's easy to do that when you are 18.  Click here to continue.
Missteps in Benefits Communications

Communications that are infrequent and indecipherable are common mistakes HR leaders make when transmitting information about benefits packages to employees.  Using more of a "selling" approach while adopting multiple channels and targeted messages will help, experts say.  Click here to continue.

Casting a Wide Net

As American as apple pie, dental benefits continue to be a valued staple among workplace offerings. And while it's tough to improve on the simple perfection that is apple pie, benefit plans can and should be regularly revisited to ensure they are effectively serving the needs of their employee participants.  Click
here to continue.

Integrating Employee Benefits


Employers are revisiting a mid-'80s concept that integrated health and disability management.While such programs may not result in reduced long-term-disability claims, companies may find their workers more often opting to engage in wellness programs as well as reporting improved experiences and turnaround on claim decisions.  Click here to continue. 


 Retirement Plans

Why Small Business Now Has the 401(k) Benefits Edge on Big Business


Whether you have one employee or a hundred, it's becoming much easier for small businesses to provide a better 401(k) benefit than large company plans. This is a stark contrast to the way things have been for years and can be a huge advantage to small businesses in attracting and retaining top talent.  Click here to continue.

Target-date Funds Present Tricky Concepts for Employees to Master


A higher level of interest in target-date funds springs from the market meltdown of 2008 and 2009, when participants in TDFs that were nearing the target date experienced losses that were far beyond expectations. Unfortunately, participants in these near-year TDFs didn't think that they were taking on as much risk as they were. This misperception arose from a lack of understanding about the funds' glide paths.  Click here to continue.

401(k) Account Balances Rising

More 401(k) participants are invested in single target-date, balanced fund or managed account advisory services, according to a recent report.  The report revealed that almost 30% of participants in 401(k) retirement plans at Vanguard are in automatic professionally managed investment programs, which is good for those new to investing or those who lack the experience or skills to invest on their own.  Click here to continue.


 Risk Management

Bollinger's Risk Management Services Newsletter


Click here to read the most recent issue.

Threat Shift


The 15-year-old hacker working in his parent's basement is no longer a company's worst computer-related nightmare.  Click here to continue.

Safety, Ergonomics, Cover All Drive Fleet Risk Programs


Risk management, ergonomics, policy wordings and safety programs all play important roles when managing a company's fleet.  During the American Society of Safety Engineers' Safety 2011 conference in Chicago last month, Peggy Ross, corporate environmental health and safety manager for Baxter Healthcare Corp., explained that the strength of a company's nonregulated fleet program begins with its insurance polices and how the vehicles are used and who is allowed to drive them.  Click here to continue.


 Of Interest

Aetna Global Benefits: Healthcare News


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