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Welcome to the Institute for Human Resources Benefits: Cost Containment, Audits and Legal Risks. Thank you to everyone for your participation and support. The Institute is committed to furthering the deploying and adoption of best practices across the Benefit vertical. The Institute provides an opportunity to bring together industry thought leaders in a year-long community that promotes best practices among vendors and HR Professionals with a series of research, webcasts, presentations, virtual events, awards and market research. The next two days mark the sixth virtual event for this great community. We have a very exciting event planned for you with many informative sessions covering the hot topics and trends in this exciting space.
This introduction to the event will give you an overview of the Institute for Human Resources certification program as it specifically relates to Benefits Cost Containment, Audits and Legal Risks. You will be introduced to the Advisory Board, learn about the opportunity to become certified within the IHR and see who is speaking and their topics. You will be given guidance on how to chat online with colleagues and access the virtual exhibit hall. You will have the opportunity to ask questions as it relates to the overall program, prior to its commencement. You can access all of the archived sessions where we launched this Institute in May, 2011 with 16 sessions followed by additonal events in August, November and February & May, 2012. The Institute will be offering in total over 80 hours of content over the 12 month period. There will be one more virtual event in 2012, November 7 & 8. There will also be 2 webcasts per month with additional content and best practices. This virtual event introduction is not eligible for an HRCI credit.
Do you conduct regular audits of claim payments made by your third party administrator? If not, why not?
Think about this for a moment: employers that self-insure their group health plan spend millions of dollars each year, yet that spending occurs in a "black box" at your third party administrator. No other area of your organization's expense structure operates this way; there's always an audit trail. But not in the area of group health plan expenditures.
That's a fact which, if your CFO gave it some thought, he or she would probably start popping open the Pepcid.
Plan sponsors have fiduciary duties to both shareholders & beneficiaries but don't have access to underlying fee schedules & contracts with providers. Conducting regular audits of your plan expenses is the only way to look under the hood at your third party administrator and know whether claim payments are accurate.
During the presentation from ProClaim Medical Recovery you will learn about the various types of audit methodologies plan sponsors might use; learn about the contractual language your administrative services agreements should and should not contain regarding audits; learn what to look for and what to expect when hiring an audit firm; learn about the types of errors ProClaim auditors routinely find when auditing claim payments at TPAs..
Since 2005 ProClaim Medical Recovery has worked sponsors of self-insured group health plans and during the last seven years our analysts have identified and recovered millions of dollars of overpayments for our clients. We have worked for private sector employers, multiple employer welfare arrangements ("MEWAs"), county and city governments, and associations. We provide a truly independent set of experienced eyes to analyze claim payments, identify and recover overpayments.
Protecting Retirement Plan Fiduciaries (Including Your Boss) from Liability
A variety of factors have contributed to the stunning rise in litigation against retirement plan fiduciaries. This problem for employer/plan sponsors is compounded by two other facts. First, ERISA imposes personal liability on plan fiduciaries. Second, many corporate officers, employees and even board members serve as ERISA fiduciaries. Some knowingly. Some not.
As in many other areas of the law (and American society) the courts have rapidly expanded the remedies available to sympathetic plaintiffs and the possible claims against “deep pocket” defendants. For a fiduciary accused of breaching his or her duties under ERISA, the stakes are high. The federal courts have uniformly held that ERISA's fiduciary duty is "the highest duty known to the law." ERISA authorizes lawsuits against a plan fiduciary by plan participants, beneficiaries, the plan administrator, other plan fiduciaries, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Both civil and criminal penalties can apply.
And it gets worse. ERISA Section 206(d) provides for the forfeiture of a participant's account balance or benefit by the amount the participant is required or ordered to pay to the plan in connection with a lawsuit relating to a breach of fiduciary duty, including pursuant to a settlement agreement. Did I mention that ERISA imposes personal liability on a fiduciary who breaches his/her duty?
However, there are strategies to protect plan fiduciaries from potential liability. The surprising thing is how many employers/plan sponsors fail to take full advantage of these strategies. Human resources professionals should act to protect their officers, employees, board members and others who serve as ERISA fiduciaries.
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia currently have laws permitting certain individuals legally to possess and use marijuana for medical reasons. Most states permit individuals to buy only small quantities of marijuana at designated treatment facilities. While the statutes exempt medical marijuana users from state criminal prosecution, marijuana use for any reason, including a medical reason, remains illegal under federal law.
Unfortunately, most of the state statutes do not address whether an employer must accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana, leaving employers guessing as to how to handle these situations. For example, must employers give employees breaks and facilities so that they can smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes during the work day? What about those employees who do not smoke marijuana on site but test positive in random drug screenings because of their medical marijuana use outside of work hours? Can an employee reject a job applicant who tests positive for marijuana but claims to be a registered medical marijuana user?
This program will discuss an employer’s rights and obligations to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana. We will examine state statutes permitting medical use of marijuana and recent case law interpreting these statutes in the context of the employment relationship. We will discuss the interaction between medical marijuana statutes and other employment laws, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, OSHA and state family and medical laws. We will analyze employers’ options as they navigate this new world, from a zero tolerance policy to carving out exceptions for the medical use of marijuana. We will also discuss best practices in drafting and enforcing an effective drug-free workplace policy.
Your employees are being denied credit for a home or car and/or having collection calls coming to cell phones at work.
On way to help them is to offer Credit Score Education and Counseling as a benefit to your employees to reduce their stress. The benefit to the company is that this can make the employee more productive and there is a proven ROI on investments in financial wellness.
Though financial wellness programs are implemented in companies as a benefit- often credit and credit scores are not discussed. Get It Together finds that often in the area of money and financial stress, credit scores and understanding them are a great concern.
Understanding credit scores is also a complicated, individualized matter which is much more effective with one-to-one consultations. Our program addresses these issues head on, gives specific information to employees that is actionable and even works one on one with employees.
During the individual session with a Certified Credit Report Reviewer, they will:
1. Learn how to read and understand a credit report.
2. Receive a detailed report reviewing negative & positive information in your credit report
3. Learn ways to increase or maintain your credit score.
4. Receive information on how to resolve inaccuracies in the report.
5. Learn general Cash Flow and Budgeting.
6. Receive a personalized action plan for your credit management.
We will discuss:
1. Why financial wellness programs need to include credit management.
2. What should be covered in the credit education portion of a financial wellness program.
3. Pitfalls to avoid when implementing the program.
4. Specifics on how to implement the program equally for all employees in all office locations.
5. Different structures for implementation including costs and working with your current financial wellness program.
We will be covering the details of fee disclosure, this time to plan participants that will begin on August 30, 2012.
Among those details will the acceptable, according to the Department of Labor, format for these fee disclosures to plan participants:
The disclosures can be emailed or snail mailed depending upon the participant’s preferences and the participant reserves the right to change their mode of delivery at their discretion.
We will define, according to the dictates of the Department of Labor, to whom these disclosures must be delivered:
Delivery is not limited to current participants and anyone who is eligible to participate in the plan must receive the disclosures.
We will offer various courses of action to be taken to prepare for the disclosure event:
A coordinated effort between all advisors to the plan, from accountants and attorneys to advisors and administrators as this initial disclosure event is likely to create quite uproar among plan participants.
Recent surveys would indicate that both plan sponsors and plan participants are blissfully unaware that any fees are imposed on their retirement plan. To be apprised that there are fees, and some are likely to be egregious, will undoubtedly trigger a slew of shrieking from plan participants and a coordinated plan designed to address the concerns of plan participants, before disclosures begin, is essential.
And the planning for this date of disclosure should begin now,
So, we will provide attendees with a step by step course of pro-active action so they can be prepared for August 30, 2012.
Voluntary Benefits - The Future of Your Employee Benefits?
Today’s Voluntary Benefits present both opportunities and challenges to employers, offering proven ways to introduce new benefits options, at no direct costs to the employer. Our new webinar explores how voluntary, employee-paid benefits are helping employers re-balance the Total Rewards equation. Employers will gain a fuller understanding of Voluntary Benefits’ role in Total Rewards.
Voluntary Benefits help employers attract, retain and engage a talented, productive workforce. As businesses shift support away from employer sponsored benefits, innovative employers want to be sure their employees still have benefits tools and resources at work to address their life needs. Leveraging the presenters’ experienced employer perspective, attendees will learn how to strategically introduce and manage Voluntary Benefits. The Webinar will equip employers to apply this knowledge for competitive advantage to attract and retain the best employees.
The Webinar Agenda:
Total Rewards today - Strategic, comprehensive and consistent compensation and benefits programs are vitally important for business success
Benefits as key strategic components of Total Rewards – Employee life needs which benefits help meet
Power of Voluntary Benefits –How Voluntary Benefits complement health, retirement and financial protection core benefits without direct cost to the company
How Voluntary Benefits can be used to respond to health care plan design changes in the era of Health Care Reform
Revolution in Total Rewards – Both HR and the CFO are discovering how Voluntary Benefits deliver new Total Rewards value to both the company and its workforce
Getting started: Building a Voluntary Benefits Total Rewards Platform – tools and resources for strategy and implementation- state-of-the art communication, administration and enrollment
The Department of Labor’s 404(8)b2 and 404(a)5 401k fee disclosure regulations REQUIRE plan sponsors pay only reasonable fees. Previously it was very difficult to obtain plan fee information. When asked about fees, most providers and advisors answers were, “it is built into the plan”. Plan sponsors are finally being provided with fee information from providers, but now the focus will be on documenting the fairness. Unfortunately, according to a recent US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the majority of plan sponsors still do not clearly understand how 401k providers are compensated. The fee structure inside of their 401k plan remains a mystery.
Employers’ concern over their poor understanding of fees is only heightened by recent media articles. “Is Your 401k Ripping You Off?”, Forbes, June 25th, and “Is Your 401k Robbing You Blind”, USNews, June 8th, are certainly calling into question the decisions employers have made. The importance of understanding and documenting your 401k plan’s fees has never been a more important process. The human resource manager side reminds us, if it is not documented it never happened. Analyzing the administrative, recordkeeping, investment management, employee education, and technology cost/value paradigms will create the leverage for a desired win/win/win scenario and provide needed documentation for participant fee disclosure. Join 401(k) Advisors as we discuss a best practices approach to documenting reasonableness and negotiating fees for long-term success.
• What are the key drivers of total plan cost?
• What role does revenue sharing play?
• Are you getting the best deal possible?
Information with no reference point is worth very little.
According to recent studies, one in four Medicare patients will leave a hospital with a potentially fatal issue they didn’t have prior to hospitalization. On average, one medication error per day occurs for each hospitalized patient, and more than 180,000 Americans die every year from hospital accidents, errors, and infections. In response to this silent epidemic, more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals will now receive an A, B, C, D or F Hospital Safety ScoreSM based on patient safety via a first-of-its-kind initiative. A Blue Ribbon Panel of the nation’s top patient safety experts provided guidance to The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, to develop the Hospital Safety Score. The Hospital Safety Score is calculated using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. For the first time, the Hospital Safety Score will highlight the country’s best hospitals and warn against the worst. The Hospital Safety Score website – www.hospitalsafetyscore.org – allows visitors to search hospital scores for free, and also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. Employers and HR Professionals can use this score to educate employees about hospital safety, as well as use the information in health plan negotiations and contracting. This presentation will give an overview of the Hospital Safety Score as well as the impact it’s had since its release last month. The presentation will also detail how it can be used by human resources professionals.
F&L Financial Services works with companies and their employees from start-up through expansion and beyond, with the aim that benefits are compliant with local legislation and work in everyone's best interests - assisting with both staff retention and attraction.
The expert team researches the available benefits and providers, assesses them annually (or when required) with a view to creating and administering scalable packages that grow with a company’s workforce. The team understand that employee benefits are just one part of the picture and work closely with payroll, tax and legal teams, aiming to provide an HR package that is delivered seamlessly.
In this session, Tim Atkins will look at the benefits implications for employers of globally mobile employees and the transferring of benefits packages overseas outside of North America.
In addition, Tim explores the comparative differences between what is considered a 'competitive benefits package' in North America vs Europe in order to recruit and retain the best possible talent when expanding internationally.
Tim specialises in the design, implementation and ongoing administration of Employee Benefits programmes – primarily for North American HQd companies who take their businesses into the UK and European markets.
After training with Scottish Life Assurance Company, Tim moved on to gain considerable experience as an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) from 1993.
Tim is highly regarded by his peers in the profession and regularly asked to speak at government and private events including regular visits to the US and Canada, where he has business relationships with a wide range of companies and government agencies.
While most concerns about data security are addressed by IT and finance departments, the effects of ID theft on employees (regardless of the source of the compromised data) fall mostly in the areas of productivity and absenteeism. This session will cover FTC decisions and expectations regarding data security vis a vis employee training and education that all industries can use to increase awareness, compliance, and best practices in data security. Secondarily, we will discuss the effects of ID theft on victims, and how those effects impact work performance and absenteeism, up to and including job loss, divorce, and suicide. The presentation will include information regarding the evolution of laws and regulations regarding data security, FTC publications addressed to businesses on this matter, a few high-profile data breaches by US companies and organizations, and currently accepted best practices. The second part will review the following types of ID theft, examples of each, what employees can (and can’t) do to fix it, and what measures and resources employers can offer to mitigate the recovery.
Criminal – victims are finding felony convictions in their names, resulting in the loss of professional licenses, mandatory terminations (based on HR policies) in some cases, loss of custody of their children, and huge legal bills while they attempt to get their names cleared.
Tax-related –criminals are claiming tax refunds in the name of the victim, and working jobs using the victim’s SSN on their W-4s, resulting in long entanglements with the IRS and shortfalls in personal cashflow.
Medical – thieves are obtaining medical treatment in the name of IDT victims, resulting in inaccurate medical records, denied and cancelled insurance coverages, collection actions, and compromised health care outcomes based on incorrect blood types and treatment histories.
Financial – not just credit and debit card fraud, but utilities, housing (rental and purchase), medical, and other forms of financial IDT can be time-consuming and costly to correct, and lead to a lifetime of extra hurdles and expenses for the victims.
Driver’s license – thieves are using stolen identities as they rack up many minor and major traffic violations, resulting in fines and imprisonment for the victims.
Internet-related – criminals are running fraudulent, pornographic, and otherwise illegal websites and businesses using the names of IDT victims; there are also cases of ID theft whose purpose is to harass, bully, or shame the victim in some way, usually by pretending to admit to some unethical or illegal behavior.
New Department of Labor Regulation 408(b)(2) went into effect on July 1. It requires full fee disclosure to all 401(k) retirement plan sponsors by plan providers. For most HR professionals, the retirement plan is way down their list of worries, and if the employees aren't complaining, all must be well. But the fact of the matter is that all is not well. Most traditional pension plans are gone and with Social Security under pressure and very low personal savings rates in the US, all the pressure for a secure retirement falls on the retirement plan. Yet many eligible participants don't participate, and if they do, they are not well positioned for their risk tolerance, or have inadequate balances upon which to retire. Many are overwhelmed with choices and don’t have adequate or meaningful information about what to select for their investment alternatives. The idea behind fee disclosure is to have plan sponsors realize what they are paying, and take another look since 70% of all plans have not been competitively bid in the last 3 years or longer. In these tough economic times, efficiencies must be realized at every corporate level and the plan is no exception. This is in addition to the fact that plan sponsors have a serious fiduciary responsibility to their participants and there is recent case law regarding excessive fees. DOL regulation 404(a) then requires plan participants to know their fees 60 days later (Aug. 30). (Note: this course was previously approved by HRCI for one hour.)
Employer plan fiduciaries are being deluged with disclosure documents. The documents they received on July 1st are like the new Where’s Waldo puzzles. Looking for the meaningful information in these reports is like looking for Waldo in the crowd. With that, fiduciaries are specifically required to review the services provided to their retirement plan and assess whether the fees paid for those services are reasonable. This session is intended to address the disclosure documents, how to read them and what to do with them. Along with the receipt, review and required actions, employers are faced with, at best a reminder of their fiduciary obligation to review service provider fees for reasonableness. At worst, they have no idea what these are and what to do with them. Understanding human nature and the problems that have plagued the retirement plan industry for decades, the Labor Department (DOL) has instituted two separate disclosures. Ignoring the first will only exasperate the problem faced by plan fiduciaries. The first requires service providers to disclose their compensation. The second requires employers to disclose to plan participants what they pay. Employees will be shocked when they realize that what was thought to be free has a very real and high cost.
The speakers have extensive experience working with retirement plans, fiduciary duties and have advised numerous clients on these disclosures and how to deal with these new documents. Fee and service scenarios will be discussed and will be of value to the HR professional.
Like the game Where’s Waldo??, this session will give you the maps and guidance to find the character – but more importantly, find answers and practical action steps.
Did you know that your OSHA Summary Form 300-A must be certified, signed and posted by February 1, 2013? And remember, this OSHA form must be posted until April 30, 2012.
What's the Harm in Not Completing and Posting This Form? Well, just OSHA recently announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) on OSHA Injury & Illness Recordkeeping. Simply put, OSHA is putting injury & illness recordkeeping in the spotlight. They are ramping up their audits and concentrating on your OSHA recordkeeping forms.
Each year the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issues over $80 Million in fines to non-compliant organizations. Many of these fines are for paperwork that is not filled out correctly, including the OSHA Form 300 / 300A and 301. And now, even greater emphasis will be given to these important OSHA forms.
Have You Experienced This Problem Before?
So you make a commitment to complete the OSHA injury & illness recordkeeping as required by law, but once the injuries start, it's difficult to figure which injuries need to be recorded and which ones don't. Do you record a strained back? A stubbed toe? A twisted ankle? And be careful of just recorded everything! Record too much and you make yourself a target for the OSHA inspectors! In fact here's the rule: Only record what you are legally required to record.
Here's An Easy Solution! Don't have in-house expertise? Feel like you're on an island with no one to turn to? Don't have time to attend a day long OSHA seminar? Our annual OSHA injury & illness recordkeeping webinar is the solution!
Don't let another year go by wondering if you are following OSHA's rules for Injury and Illness Recordkeeping. Sign up now for this 90 minute easy to follow webinar - It will quickly prepare you for this year's recordkeeping responsibilities and make your life easier!
The landscape has changed in Pension investing. With recent focus on funding challenges, Cafaro Greenleaf offers a unique approach to Liability Driven Investing (LDI). The solution is forward-looking and greatly reduces risk – as it is driven by known factors such as your plan demographics and benefit payment schedules, rather than uncertain elements such as the economy or a consultant’s view of the market. While most plans are chasing returns, Cafaro Greenleaf focuses more on what the actual liabilities of the plan are, and matches them to proven customized portfolios to ensure that those liabilities are met. The structure also reduces Plan expenses by as much as 50%, while lessening the burden on the committee. Forget what you know about traditional Pension investing, and listen in to learn about new and unique strategies to protect Pension Plans.
A Liability Driven Investment (LDI) strategy is defined as a form of investing in which the main goal is to gain sufficient assets to meet all liabilities, both current and future. These strategies have been a major focus in both public and private pension plans in order to ensure sufficient liquidity in the portfolio to meet liabilities based on actuarial data. Many consultants use hedging tactics or fixed income strategies to protect against interest rate or inflation risk. Cafaro Greenleaf takes this concept a step further when implementing our proprietary LDI strategy.
We do not believe that chasing an expected return is the most prudent portfolio construction strategy because every population of members is different. A traditional 60/40 like pension strategy does not address the obvious concerns like liquidity or market conditions and more importantly does not use actuarial data (what’s known) to drive the asset allocation.
With that in mind, Cafaro Greenleaf will execute a comprehensive asset/liability study on your population and group members in a certain benefit periods based on when they are expected to begin accessing funds. By doing so, not only can we address liquidity concerns but our allocation is more tailored to our benefit payments than is a traditional pension strategy.
We then build individual portfolios for each group and manage each one as a separate portfolio. These individual portfolios are mandated by a customized glide path that shifts assets automatically as you progress over time. They are not influenced by a consultant’s view of the markets or other macro factors that cause negative reactive shifts in the portfolio.
*NOTE - Due to the length, this webcast doesn't qualify for credits.
The reasons why employers are taking a close look at offering identity theft protection and legal plans to their employees as a voluntary group benefit can be measured in “dollars and sense.”
Let’s face it, employees have issues. Now, more than ever before, employees are dealing with legal issues, and many of those issues have financial implications that also cause stress. Studies show that employees with legal problems are absent 5 times more than average, use their medical benefits 4 times more than average, use sick leave twice as often as the average employee, and experience a substantial reduction in productivity.
And what about identity theft? Most people think it’s just about credit cards and bank accounts, but it’s much more than that. Social
Security numbers are being used to get jobs – now the IRS wants to know why you didn’t report that income. If someone gets a drivers license in your name and they get a DUI, what’s the likelihood they’re going to show up in court? … Now there’s a bench warrant out there with your name on it. Medical identity theft is the fastest growing and the scariest. Unlike financial identity theft, there's no clear cut way of disputing false medical claims or correcting inaccurate medical records. This is not only challenging - it can be extremely frustrating. If you are a victim, you could be facing thousands of dollars in unpaid charges; your credit could be negatively affected, and false, potentially dangerous information could be cluttering up your medical records for years.
Learn more about how identity theft and your employees’ legal issues affect your company and what you can do as an HR professional to mitigate that impact. When you bring in a voluntary employee benefit with no direct cost that has a positive influence on the company’s “bottom line” … you’ll deserve the title of HR Rock Star!
This course will review the Affordable Care Act.
The first part of the course will discuss the general requirements of the Affordable Care Act, including those requirements that apply to companies today. Specifically, the course will discuss the extension of dependent coverage to age 26, limits on pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits, coverage of emergency services, cost-sharing restrictions on certain preventive care coverages, the new appeals process, initial authorization by primary care physician restrictions, limits on reimbursements of certain medications, automatic health plan enrollment, additional preventive services, non-discrimination requirements, and more.
The second part of the course will discuss requirements that take effect in 2012 and beyond. Specific topics will include health FSA salary reduction contribution limits, Medicare Part D subsidy elimination, changes to waiting periods, limitations on pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits, restrictions on cost-sharing, clinical trial requirements, wellness programs, new Summary of Benefits and Coverage regulations, new HIPAA certification requirements, state Exchanges, the individual mandate, and more.
Penalties and taxes associated with non-compliance will be reviewed. Among the penalties and taxes that will be reviewed are: the Code section 4980D health plan non-compliance excise tax, the excise tax on HSA distributions for non-medical purposes, the annual fee assessed on plan sponsors, medical loss ratio rebates, medical expenses deduction limit, additional FICA and SECA payroll tax, new investment income tax, $2,000 penalty for each full-time employee who seeks coverage through Exchanges, $3,000/$2,000 penalty for each full-time employee who receives a subsidy because employer’s coverage is unaffordable, annual fee on certain entities that provide health insurance, reinsurance fee, 40% excise tax on “cadillac” insurance plans, and more.