eBRIEFS Masthead

April 2012


Featured Article

Health Care Reform
Two years after Congress passed landmark health care reform
legislation, employers are nearly evenly divided on whether the U.S. Supreme Court should repeal the law, according to a survey released March 26.  Click
here to continue.
In This Issue
2012 Health Cost Projections
Importance of Retirement Programs for Younger Workers
10 Tips When Considering Cyber Insurance
Bollinger's Personal Lines Newsletter
Global Benefits: Healthcare News

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  For more information on 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other Retirement Plans, send an email to Paul Carman



For more information on Estate Planning and other Financial Services, send an email to Michael Wynn.



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 Legislative/Regulatory Update

List Released of Counties for Which "Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate" SBC Notices Will Be Required for 2012


The Department of Health and Human Services released the list of counties in the United States for which certain group health plans (and issuers offering health insurance coverage) will be required to provide relevant notices in a "culturally and linguistically appropriate manner" for 2012.  The list, which will be updated annually, identifies those counties in which 10 percent or more of the population is literate only in the same non-English language.  Click here to continue.

FAQs Clarify Summary of Benefits and Coverage Regulations


Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions regarding implementation of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) provisions of the Affordable Care Act. These FAQs have been prepared jointly by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments), and answer questions from stakeholders to help people understand the new law and benefit from it.

Preparing for DOL Fee-Disclosure Rules


While the disclosures to plan participants don't begin until August, HR leaders should be communicating now with employees to make sure they understand that such fees already exist -- even if they haven't been disclosed before. HR leaders should also make sure their staff will be able to understand the disclosures they will receive from service providers -- and that such fees are "fair and reasonable." Click here to continue.

IRS Gives Game Plan for COBRA Audits


COBRA is a law with a double bite: both the DOL and the IRS routinely conduct COBRA audits and issue penalties. The IRS recently published a checklist of what it examines in these audits. Click here to continue.


 Benefit Trends

Health Costs Projected to Increase Less than 10% for 2012

Costs for all types of medical plans in the U.S. are expected to increase by 9.9 percent for 2012, according to a survey by Buck Consultants. This is the first time since 2001 that Buck's survey has projected cost increases less than 10 percent for any type of plan.  Click here to continue.

Changes on the Healthcare Horizon

As the U.S. Supreme Court ponders the constitutionality of the healthcare-reform law, employers are considering the implications of the possibly soon-to-exist healthcare-insurance exchanges. They are also seeing rising healthcare costs -- and many are passing those costs along to employees. Click here to continue.

U.S. Chamber Releases Workplace Wellness Toolkit


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a new toolkit to help small and medium-sized employers plan, implement, and evaluate workplace health promotion programs. The toolkit titled, "Workplace Wellness Programs: Promoting Better Health While Controlling Costs," provides practical suggestions for workplace wellness activities, and highlights ways to engage the community. Click here to continue.

The Tools, They are a-Changin'


Health care analytics technology is breaking down information silos, and improving health care coordination, outcomes, costs. Click here to continue.


 Retirement Plans

Importance Of Retirement Programs In Employment Decisions Jumps For Younger Workers

The percentage of America's younger workers who say an employer-sponsored retirement program is important for either joining or staying with an employer has jumped sharply in the past two years, especially at employers that still offer a pension plan, according to a recent survey. Click here to continue.

Thrown Some Curves, Service Providers Finally 'Ahead of the Curve' for 401(k) Disclosures

It's taken more than a year for retirement plan service providers to gear up for fee disclosures, but they finally seem to be prepared for the new reporting requirements that go into effect July 1. Click here to continue.

Defined Contribution Equals Social Security in Retirement Importance


Defined contribution retirement plans now equal Social Security in importance when it comes to retirement security among people ages 50 to 66, according to a new survey from the Insured Retirement Institute. Click here to continue.

 Risk Management

10 Tips When Considering Cyber Insurance


Data breaches are like lightning: one never knows when or where they'll strike-or how much damage they will cause. Click here to continue.

The Ethics of Risk Management: No Easy Answers


Everyone makes risk-related decisions that affect others, but how often are risk management decisions examined or discussed from an ethical or moral perspective? Click here to continue.

Workers' Comp Insights: Understanding Aspects of Claim Resolution


Dealing with workers compensation claims isn't always as straightforward as one might hope. Unfortunately, sooner or later, employers will have an employee who is injured on the job. By reviewing common points of concern, you can increase your ability to manage WC claims. Click here to continue.


 Personal Lines

Bollinger's Personal Lines Newsletter


Click here to view the March issue.

Teens Still Texting While Driving, Survey Says


The high-profile campaign against distracted driving, especially among young motorists, has seeped deep into the national culture: April is Distracted Driving Month, and tonight's season premiere of the Fox teen hit TV show Glee features a distracted driving crash cliffhanger from last season. Click here to continue.

New Jersey: Flooding Risk Rises Statewide


For those living or working near flood plains along New Jersey's ocean or river fronts, it's been nothing but bad news lately. Click here to continue.


 Of Interest

Aetna Global Benefits: Healthcare News

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