Posts Categorized: Health Benefits

2013 Planning Teleconference

in Health Benefits

For the last several years our team has held our annual health and welfare teleconference in May, during which we discuss important planning items and issues applicable for the upcoming year. We are planning to have our annual teleconference again this year. However, we have also heard inquiries from many of you regarding the impact of the pending Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. The decision is expected to be released in June, most likely towards the end of June. While we do not think that it is likely that the Supreme Court decision will have an immediate… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes New FMLA Revisions

in Health Benefits

Today the Department of Labor issued proposed revisions to the FMLA regulations. The revisions implement the military leave provisions of the FMLA made by the National Defense Authorization Act passed in 2009, which extended the availability of FMLA leave to family members of the armed forces for qualifying exigencies arising out of the service member’s deployment and defines the deployments covered under these provisions. The proposed revisions also extend FMLA military caregiver leave to family members of certain veterans with serious injuries or illnesses, which also was added by the National Defense Authorization Act. In addition, the proposed revisions include… Continue Reading

DOL Regulatory Update

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

DOL recently released its 2012 regulatory agenda, with a few interesting items emerging.  The agenda indicates that DOL will propose updates to the internal claim and appeal procedures for plans not covered by the Affordable Care Act (e.g., stand-alone dental and vision, disability and retirement plans).  These regulations were last updated in 2001.  I first heard of these proposed updates during the JCEB health and welfare meeting that I co-chaired a few months ago.  At that time, DOL indicated that it was examining whether any of the enhancements that apply to the internal claims and appeals procedures under the Affordable Care Act,… Continue Reading

DOL Solicits Comments for Document Requests

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

ERISA Section 104(a)(6) requires entities to provide documents to the Secretary of Labor upon request.  DOL has issued an information collection request soliciting public comments as to what types of documents this request should cover and whether it should be continued.  Interested parties must submit comments by January 12, 2012.  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-13/pdf/2011-31917.pdf

Medicare Data Rules Finalized

in Affordable Care Act, Health Benefits

On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations making claims data from Medicare available to “qualified entities.”  The rule gives qualified entities, like employers, insurers, consumer groups and their contractors, access to data that can help them identify high quality health care providers or create online tools to help consumers make educated health care choices.  Information that could identify specific patients, however, will not be publicly released and strong penalties will be in place for any misuse of data.  CMS hopes that the final regulations will make health care information more available and allow consumers… Continue Reading