eBRIEFS Masthead

November 2011


Featured Article

Heightened Awareness of Benefits Plays Pivotal Role
in Employee Experience
Thousands of US employers spend countless hours each fall developing benefits communications before open enrollment.  Yet despite their best efforts, it appears most employees do not understand their benefits.  Click here to continue. 
In This Issue
Is Health-Care Pricing Transparency at Hand?
Prepare Now for Fiduciary Rules
Choose Your Friends Carefullly
Global 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.  

Become a Fan of
Bollinger on Facebook!


Check out our Facebook page dedicated to insurance news, information and tips.


Click here to like us on Facebook

Follow our Twitter Page Here 


Refer a Friend to Bollinger and
Get a Gas Card

 Legislative/Regulatory Update

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Suit Challenging the Health Care Reform Law


The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the fate of the 2010 health care reform law, with an election-year ruling due by July on the U.S. health care system's overhaul.  Click here to continue.

IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for Tax Year 2012


The Internal Revenue Service has released a detailed list of pension plan and other retirement-related contribution limitations for the Tax Year 2012 that were triggered by an increase in the cost-of-living index.  Click here to continue. 

New York Autism Mandate Follows National Trend


New York insurance companies that were not covering the screening, diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorders will now be mandated to do so effective November 1, 2012.  Click here to continue.

Year-End Troop Return Triggers Benefit Obligations Under USERRA


Last month President Obama announced that the remaining 40,000 or so American troops in Iraq would be returning home by December 31 of this year; it is also expected that he will announce an additional troop draw-down from Afghanistan. For U.S. employers, this means that it is time to get reacquainted with benefit reinstatement rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Click here to continue. 

Failing Grade for the CLASS Act: Design Flaws Would Have Led to Spiraling Costs


On Friday, October 14, 2011 Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the administration was abandoning implementation of the CLASS Act, a component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would have provided a federal cash benefit to offset certain long-term care expenses for qualifying individuals.   Click here to continue.



 Benefit Trends

Is Health-Care Pricing Transparency at Hand?


In the era of consumer-directed health plans, emerging technologies promise to save companies a bundle by making it easy for employees to avoid high-priced services. Click here to continue.

Employers Cut Drug Benefits, But Improve Pricing of Generics


As employee benefit budgets remain tight, employers are adopting plan design changes that reduce drug benefit coverage and improve pricing, according to the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.  Click here to continue.

Long Term Care Costs in the U.S. Rise Again


Costs continue to rise for those requiring long-term care in the U.S. According to the newly released 2011 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute, national average rates for a private nursing home room increased 4.4% to $239 daily or $87,235 annually, in 2011.
Click here 
to continue.


 Retirement Plans

Prepare Now For Fiduciary Rules


The Department of Labor has slightly delayed the deadlines on significant new affirmative obligations for fiduciaries of retirement plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  Although the deadlines have been pushed from this July to April 1, 2012, employers should be preparing now to ensure that they are ready to comply with the new requirements. Click here to continue.

Roth 401(k)s Are Slow to Gain Toehold Among Employee Portfolios


A new survey from the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America shows that more employers are offering Roth 401(k) plans, but many employees aren't taking advantage of this tax strategy. Click here to continue. 

Tax Reform Options: Promoting Retirement Security


Currently, the combination of worker and employer contributions in a defined contribution plan is capped by the federal tax code at the lesser of $49,000 per year or 100 percent of a worker's compensation (participants over age 50 can made additional "catch-up" contributions). As part of the effort to lower the federal deficit and reduce federal "tax expenditures," two major reform proposals have surfaced that would change current tax policy toward retirement savings.  Click here to continue. 


 Risk Management

Choose Your Friends Carefully...Or At Least Insure Them


As part of the cost of doing business, companies are often obligated to extend their insurance to other entities.  The entity extending coverage is the "named insured" and the party added to the policy is an "additional insured."  Click here to continue.

Worker Fraud Costs Small Businesses Big Bucks


Employee theft has become a common occurrence, but in tough times when revenues are already down, the impact, especially for small businesses, can pack a harder punch.  Click here to continue. 

Supply Chain Risks Grow More Complex


Recent events around the world have highlighted the critical - and sometimes delicate - nature of the supply chains many companies rely upon to produce their products and deliver them to customers.  Click here to continue. 

The Myth of Volunteer Immunity


Volunteers are often the engine of success for a nonprofit organization.  they are the essence of charity work and help to make real the missions of thousands of organizations worldwide.  Those donating their time typically do not consider the consequences of being accused and held personally liable of negligence during the course of performing their duties.  While existing immunity laws provide volunteers with some protection they are not complete solutions.  Click here to continue.


 Of Interest

Aetna Global Benefits: Healthcare News


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