Innovative Benefit Planning Blog

Interim Final Rule on Internal Claims and Appeals and External Review Processes Released

Posted On: July 26, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

New Regulations Give Patients Right To Appeal Health Plan Decisions; New Grants Program Strengthens State and Territory Consumer Assistance Programs The Obama Administration is announcing both new regulations to empower consumers to appeal decisions made by their health plans or insurance companies and the availability of resources that will be used to help give consumers more control of their health care decisions. These provisions of the Affordable Care Act will help support and protect consumers and help end some of the worst insurance company abuses. For more detailed information visit these links: Regulation: Fact Sheet: Related Press Release: NAIC Uniform External Review Model Act:

Regulations Issued on Lifetime and Annual Limits

Posted On: July 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Close on the heels of their regulations concerning grandfathered plans, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury have now released interim final regulations relating to preexisting condition exclusions, lifetime and annual limits, rescissions, and other patient protections under the Affordable Care Act (the "Act").  Lifetime Limits Under the Act, a group health plan may not establish any lifetime limit on the dollar amount of "essential health benefits" provided to any individual. This requirement is effective for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. It applies to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans, although not to health FSAs or health savings accounts. According to the Act, essential health benefits include, at a minimum, items and services in the following categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization, maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and…

IBP sponsors 401(k) Educational Luncheon

Posted On: July 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

Mark Sulpizio, a founding partner at IBP, was the presenter at a qualified plan educational luncheon held at Union Trust Steakhouse in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 22 2010. At the luncheon, Mark reviewed the recently released 408(b)(2) "interim final regulations" from the Department of Labor and how the new rules will affect the fiduciary responsibilities of plan sponsors. Mark provided valuable insight on what plan sponsors needed to do in preparation for the July 16, 2011 effective date of the regulations. The event was well attended and received tremendous interest due to timeliness of the topics discussed. If you would like to learn more about the added fiduciary responsibilities employers face because of the new regulations please feel free to call our office. To view a fact sheet from the Department of Labor please  click here.

Fiduciary Update – The SEC and Target Date Branding

Posted On: June 25, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

As discussed at our recent fiduciary luncheon events, the regulatory agencies are continuing to look at target date funds.  Last week, the commissioners at the SEC approved new regulations regarding the marketing of target date funds. The agency wants to require the use of a visual aid illustrating the funds glide path, which outlines how the funds allocation changes as it reaches the specified retirement date.  In addition, target date funds will be required to provide a statement of the funds asset allocation at the landing point/retirement date. There will also be new disclosure statements outlining the fund’s lack of a guaranteed return, that allocations may change and that participants should not select a fund based solely on their age or retirement date. Mary Schapiro, chairperson of the SEC, stated that “these proposed rule changes would help clarify the meaning of the date in a target date fund and improve…

Innovative Sponsors 401(k)/403(b) Fiduciary Luncheon

Posted On: June 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

Mark Sulpizio, a founding partner at IBP, presented a workshop on the added fiduciary responsibilities plan sponsors will face due to the upcoming Department of Labor 408(B)(2) regulations at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Princeton, NJ.  The program reviewed what plan sponsors should be doing to prepare for the regulations and offered guidance on how to unbundle a retirement plan to determine the fees being assessed to participants, a requirement of the new regulations.  Attendee feedback was extremely positive, with many comments on the timeliness and value of the material presented.  If you would like more information on how the new regulations will affect your plan, feel free to call our office.

US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Labor & Treasury Issue Regulation on “Grandfathered” Health Plans Under the Affordable Care Act

Posted On: June 15, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

While the Affordable Care Act requires all health plans to provide new mandated benefits under the law, plans that existed on March 23, 2010 are exempt from some new requirements. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issued new regulations on “Grandfathered” health plans under the Affordable Care Act. In order for a plan to keep its “Grandfathered” status the plan must abide by the stipulations outlined below when making plan changes. Cannot Significantly Cut or Reduce Benefits.  For example, if a plan decides to no longer cover care for people with diabetes, cystic fibrosis or HIV/AIDS. Cannot Raise Co-Insurance Charges. Typically, co-insurance requires a patient to pay a fixed percentage of a charge (for example, 20% of a hospital bill).  Grandfathered plans cannot increase this percentage. Cannot Significantly Raise Co-Payment Charges. Frequently, plans require patients to pay a fixed-dollar amount for doctor’s office visits and other…

Innovative Presents on Healthcare Reform

Posted On: June 11, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Terriann Procida, one of our  founding partners, had the privilege of delivering an informative talk about Healthcare Reform on Wednesday, June 9th in Philadelphia.  She covered topics such as The Patient and Affordable Care Act as well as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, both of which have become the most sweeping legislation since Medicare.  Kenneth  R. Gilberg, a shareholder of Flaster/Greenberg also presented at this event about Employee Handbooks.  Based on the feedback everyone found it very timely and beneficial.

HopeWorks Charity Golf Classic

Posted On: June 11, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Benefit Planning attended the annual HopeWorks Charity Golf Classic on Monday, June 7th at the Laurel Creek Country Club in Moorestown, NJ.  HopeWorks seeks to achieve D.R.E.A.M.S. (Dynamic Realizable Efforts to Attain and Maintain Success) for inner-city Camden, NJ youth by expanding the learning opportunities available to them.  Innovative, which was one of the sponsors for this event,  has been a supporter of this worthy cause for many years. To learn more about HopeWorks and their mission, visit their website or watch this great video which introduces them on a more personal level.

March 2010 Retirement Plan Update Part 1

Posted On: March 17, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

 It has been a busy year in Washington with stimulus, cap and trade and health care dominating the headlines. Behind the scenes, it has also been a busy year for proposals that will affect how employers manage their retirement plans. Currently, there is pending legislation in Washington regarding participant level investment advice and the way advisors are compensated for this advice.   Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, it was OK  for plan sponsors to allow advisors to provide this service for participants as long as the person providing the advice was being paid a level fee regardless of the participant investment selection or was using a certified computer model to develop the participant's investment  allocation.  Under the proposed regulations, affiliates or employees of the advisor will also be required to receive level compensation regardless of the investment option that is chosen. In addition, compensation must now  be level for advisors using any certified computer model to provide advice.  These proposals will affect advisors who are employees of…

New Website Launched!

Posted On: February 26, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative is pleased to announce the launch of our new website.  The site will make it easier for clients to register for events, locate previous compliance alerts and most importantly provide us with feedback for our services.  So please stop by the site and let us know what you think!

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