Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – September 20, 2013

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Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – 9/20/13

 

  hr.cch.com

Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews™

September 16, 2013 – September 20, 2013

Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Health Insurance Reporting Under Health Reform, 9/13 (558.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: 54 Percent Of Employees Participated In Health Care Plans, 9/13 (422.-15)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Court Casaes: COBRA In Federal Courts, 9/13 (329.4.-1)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 8/13 (619.5.-51)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »


News

September 20, 2013

EBSA Guidance Clarifies That “Spouse” And “Marriage” Are Determined By State In Which Same-Sex Marriage Was Recognized, Not Current Domicile

In Technical Release No. 2013-04, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released guidance interpreting the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, the Windsor decision struck down the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples. In Technical Release No. 2013-04, the EBSA provides guidance to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants, and beneficiaries on the decision’s impact on ERISA…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Number Of Uninsured Decreases Slightly In 2012: Census Bureau

In 2012, the percentage of individuals without health insurance decreased to 15.4 percent from 15.7 percent in 2011, according to recent research from the Census Bureau. The report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, noted however, that the number of uninsured in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 48.0 million…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA’s Rate Review Provision Saves $1.2 Billion Nationwide: HHS

According to a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 6.8 million consumers saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012, due to the rate review provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA established an annual review process that requires insurers to submit justification for any “unreasonable” premium increases…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 19, 2013

Delaying Individual Mandate Would Increase Number Of Uninsured By 11 Million In 2014: CBO

The number of Americans without health insurance would increase by 11 million—to a total of 55 million people—in 2014 if Congress was successful in passing legislation that delays the individual mandate to purchase insurance by one year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The federal budget deficit also would decrease by about $36 billion from 2014 to 2018 if the legislation was enacted…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Antenuptial Agreement Did Not Waive Spouse’s Right to QPSA

An antenuptial agreement requiring the future waiver of a pre-retirement survivor annuity did not sufficiently inform a spouse of the effect of waiver to satisfy ERISA, according to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Mid American Pension and Employee Benefits Plan Administration Committee v. Cox, et al. Absent acknowledgement of the effect of the waiver, the spouse remained entitled to the 401(k) benefits of her former husband…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 18, 2013

Text: EBSA, Technical Release 2013-03, Application Of ACA Market Reforms To HRAs, Health FSAs, And Other Employer Healthcare Arrangements

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Agencies Issue Guidance On Application Of ACA’s Market Reforms To Employer Health Care Arrangements

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued guidance, in the form of Technical Release 2013-03, on the application of two of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform provisions to certain employer health care arrangements. The Treasury Department simultaneously issued guidance in substantially identical form (IRS Notice 2013-54) as the Technical Release, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also issued guidance to reflect that HHS concurs in the application of the laws under its jurisdiction as set forth in the Technical Release…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employees Can Avoid Tobacco Surcharge In SHOP Exchange If Also Enrolling In Tobacco Cessation Program

In a federally-facilitated SHOP exchange (FF-SHOP), an employee or dependent can avoid the tobacco premium rating surcharge at the time of initial enrollment (or re-enrollment) if they agree to participate in a wellness program meeting the standards of Public Health Service Act (PHSA) Sec. 2705, such as a tobacco cessation program, according to a recently released frequently asked questions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 17, 2013

Benefits Were 30.8 Percent Of Total Compensation In June 2013, BLS Finds

Employer-provided benefits costs for civilian workers in private industry and state and local governments in June 2013 averaged $9.56 per hour worked, accounting for 30.8 percent of total compensation costs, which averaged $31.00 per hour worked. The cost of benefits as a percentage of compensation has risen in the past three years from 27.4 percent of total compensation, although that percentage has been relatively stable over the last two and a half years. These are among the findings of the June 2013 Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report, produced quarterly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Several Large Employers End Retiree Health Plans, Plan To Move Retirees To Public Exchanges

Several large employers recently have announced that they are cutting their retiree health care plans and planning on moving retirees onto the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)-created health insurance exchanges. Time Warner Inc. and IBM both have said they would steer retired workers toward a privately run exchange. Last year, General Electric Co. (GE) said it, too, would curb benefits in a move that may send some former employees to the public insurance exchanges…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 16, 2013

PBGC Issues October 2013 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating October through December 2013, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 3.0 percent, up from the 2.60 percent that applied in July through September 2013…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Majority Of Employees Will See Changes During 2014 Open Enrollment Season

The majority of employees will likely see a number of changes to their employer-sponsored health benefits during the 2014 open enrollment season, according to recent research from consultant Aon Hewitt. These changes are being driven by rising health costs and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Therefore, Aon Hewitt advises workers who plan to automatically default into the same health plan in which they were enrolled in 2013 would be wise to rethink that strategy…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Low-Income Employees At Risk Of Having No Health Insurance For 2014

Two out of five adults who have recently been uninsured living in states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would likely have no new affordable health insurance options if their states do not eventually expand the program, according to recent research from the Commonwealth Fund. The issue brief, In States’ Hands: How the Decision to Expand Medicaid Will Affect the Most Financially Vulnerable Americans, lays out several ways that the lowest-income adults are especially at risk if states do not expand their Medicaid programs…

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is the leading provider of information covering Human Resources, Employment and Labor Benefits, Pensions, Payroll, Safety, and Unemployment Insurance. For more information about our products and services, go to
http://hr.cch.com/ or call 800-449-9525. For information about our retirement and benefits products, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbs.

This newsletter is copyrighted and may be redistributed only for non-commercial purposes and only in its entirety, specifically including the headers, this paragraph and the copyright line. No other redistribution or re-purposing, including but not limited to use on a web site, intranet or extranet, is permitted without prior written permission.

You are subscribed to NetNews, sponsored by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. Click here to unsubscribe. To manage your newsletter preference or subscribe, click here.

To unsubscribe via postal mail, please contact us at: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Attn: Business Compliance Marketing, 2700 Lake Cook Rd., Riverwoods, IL 60015. Please include the email address you have been contacted with.













Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – 9/20/13

 

  hr.cch.com

Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews™

September 16, 2013 – September 20, 2013

Featured This Week

New Reports

 

  • Analysis: Health Insurance Reporting Under Health Reform, 9/13 (558.-1)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: 54 Percent Of Employees Participated In Health Care Plans, 9/13 (422.-15)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Court Casaes: COBRA In Federal Courts, 9/13 (329.4.-1)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 8/13 (619.5.-51)

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »


News

September 20, 2013

EBSA Guidance Clarifies That “Spouse” And “Marriage” Are Determined By State In Which Same-Sex Marriage Was Recognized, Not Current Domicile

In Technical Release No. 2013-04, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released guidance interpreting the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, the Windsor decision struck down the provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to legally married, same-sex couples. In Technical Release No. 2013-04, the EBSA provides guidance to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, participants, and beneficiaries on the decision’s impact on ERISA…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Number Of Uninsured Decreases Slightly In 2012: Census Bureau

In 2012, the percentage of individuals without health insurance decreased to 15.4 percent from 15.7 percent in 2011, according to recent research from the Census Bureau. The report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, noted however, that the number of uninsured in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 48.0 million…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA’s Rate Review Provision Saves $1.2 Billion Nationwide: HHS

According to a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 6.8 million consumers saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012, due to the rate review provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA established an annual review process that requires insurers to submit justification for any “unreasonable” premium increases…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 19, 2013

Delaying Individual Mandate Would Increase Number Of Uninsured By 11 Million In 2014: CBO

The number of Americans without health insurance would increase by 11 million—to a total of 55 million people—in 2014 if Congress was successful in passing legislation that delays the individual mandate to purchase insurance by one year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The federal budget deficit also would decrease by about $36 billion from 2014 to 2018 if the legislation was enacted…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Antenuptial Agreement Did Not Waive Spouse’s Right to QPSA

An antenuptial agreement requiring the future waiver of a pre-retirement survivor annuity did not sufficiently inform a spouse of the effect of waiver to satisfy ERISA, according to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Mid American Pension and Employee Benefits Plan Administration Committee v. Cox, et al. Absent acknowledgement of the effect of the waiver, the spouse remained entitled to the 401(k) benefits of her former husband…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 18, 2013

Text: EBSA, Technical Release 2013-03, Application Of ACA Market Reforms To HRAs, Health FSAs, And Other Employer Healthcare Arrangements

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Agencies Issue Guidance On Application Of ACA’s Market Reforms To Employer Health Care Arrangements

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued guidance, in the form of Technical Release 2013-03, on the application of two of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform provisions to certain employer health care arrangements. The Treasury Department simultaneously issued guidance in substantially identical form (IRS Notice 2013-54) as the Technical Release, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also issued guidance to reflect that HHS concurs in the application of the laws under its jurisdiction as set forth in the Technical Release…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employees Can Avoid Tobacco Surcharge In SHOP Exchange If Also Enrolling In Tobacco Cessation Program

In a federally-facilitated SHOP exchange (FF-SHOP), an employee or dependent can avoid the tobacco premium rating surcharge at the time of initial enrollment (or re-enrollment) if they agree to participate in a wellness program meeting the standards of Public Health Service Act (PHSA) Sec. 2705, such as a tobacco cessation program, according to a recently released frequently asked questions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 17, 2013

Benefits Were 30.8 Percent Of Total Compensation In June 2013, BLS Finds

Employer-provided benefits costs for civilian workers in private industry and state and local governments in June 2013 averaged $9.56 per hour worked, accounting for 30.8 percent of total compensation costs, which averaged $31.00 per hour worked. The cost of benefits as a percentage of compensation has risen in the past three years from 27.4 percent of total compensation, although that percentage has been relatively stable over the last two and a half years. These are among the findings of the June 2013 Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report, produced quarterly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Several Large Employers End Retiree Health Plans, Plan To Move Retirees To Public Exchanges

Several large employers recently have announced that they are cutting their retiree health care plans and planning on moving retirees onto the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)-created health insurance exchanges. Time Warner Inc. and IBM both have said they would steer retired workers toward a privately run exchange. Last year, General Electric Co. (GE) said it, too, would curb benefits in a move that may send some former employees to the public insurance exchanges…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 16, 2013

PBGC Issues October 2013 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating October through December 2013, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 3.0 percent, up from the 2.60 percent that applied in July through September 2013…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Majority Of Employees Will See Changes During 2014 Open Enrollment Season

The majority of employees will likely see a number of changes to their employer-sponsored health benefits during the 2014 open enrollment season, according to recent research from consultant Aon Hewitt. These changes are being driven by rising health costs and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Therefore, Aon Hewitt advises workers who plan to automatically default into the same health plan in which they were enrolled in 2013 would be wise to rethink that strategy…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Low-Income Employees At Risk Of Having No Health Insurance For 2014

Two out of five adults who have recently been uninsured living in states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would likely have no new affordable health insurance options if their states do not eventually expand the program, according to recent research from the Commonwealth Fund. The issue brief, In States’ Hands: How the Decision to Expand Medicaid Will Affect the Most Financially Vulnerable Americans, lays out several ways that the lowest-income adults are especially at risk if states do not expand their Medicaid programs…

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is the leading provider of information covering Human Resources, Employment and Labor Benefits, Pensions, Payroll, Safety, and Unemployment Insurance. For more information about our products and services, go to
http://hr.cch.com/ or call 800-449-9525. For information about our retirement and benefits products, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbs.

This newsletter is copyrighted and may be redistributed only for non-commercial purposes and only in its entirety, specifically including the headers, this paragraph and the copyright line. No other redistribution or re-purposing, including but not limited to use on a web site, intranet or extranet, is permitted without prior written permission.

You are subscribed to NetNews, sponsored by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. Click here to unsubscribe. To manage your newsletter preference or subscribe, click here.

To unsubscribe via postal mail, please contact us at: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Attn: Business Compliance Marketing, 2700 Lake Cook Rd., Riverwoods, IL 60015. Please include the email address you have been contacted with.