Foundation Publication Search Results

These summaries were compiled from Foundation Publications Search, a database of articles, research reports and books published by the International Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.


Social Security, Medicare and Working Past 65.
Storms, Rick; McCabe, Cathy; Benefits Magazine; v54 no3 pp 34-39 Mar 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Those working past the age of 65 should evaluate their options in claiming Social Security and Medicare benefits. This article outlines important issues to consider.
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The Decline of Group Retiree Health Plans--What's Next?
Storms, Rick; NewsScope; v34 no3 pp 15-16 Dec 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Reviews the retiree health environment and the basics of Medicare and Part D as a backdrop for considering employer approaches to manage retiree health options.
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The Decline of Group Retiree Health Plans--What's Next?
Storms, Rick; NewsBriefs; v34 pp 21-23 4th Qtr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Reviews the retiree health environment and the basics of Medicare and Part D as a backdrop for considering employer approaches to manage retiree health options.
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Did Your Plan Receive 28% in Retiree Drug Subsidies?
Anderson, Brian N.; Benefits Magazine; v52 no7 pp 46-50 Jul 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers a Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) program that reimburses health plan sponsors up to 28 percent of allowed prescription drug costs for qualifying retirees. But incomplete accounting and reporting leave many plans with less than they are due. Troubles rise from errors on the number of enrolled plan participants eligible for Medicare, the cost of eligible Medicare Part D drugs and the calculation of RDS amounts. Plan sponsors should conduct an audit to examine data preparation, coordination with the pharmacy benefits manager, eligibility of members and prescription drugs and cost reporting. Though the process goes beyond basic RDS reconciliation, a proactive and more comprehensive approach is worth the effort.
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Selecting the Right Benefits Partner for Retirees: 5 Key Questions.
Funk, Jane S.; Benefits Magazine; v52 no1 pp 40-44 Jan 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Facing a maze of choices for retiree medical and drug coverage, plan sponsors should first sort out what to offer those before and after age 65. There are numerous options among group and individual Medicare Advantage plans with Part D drug coverage. Insurance providers should help older employees moved from active plans to retiree plans, and providers with strong administrative support can ease the burden on the benefits team, explaining plan designs, benefits and drug formularies. Ideally the provider will offer programs to actively promote wellness and preventive services. Last, insurers should be able to estimate potential short and long-term savings for the sponsor.
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Finding More Value in Pharmacy Benefits: Five Trends That Matter.
Zimmerman, Allan; Benefits Magazine; v50 no6 pp 28-33 Jun 2013; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Five trends taking place in the pharmacy benefits management arena have the potential to affect plan sponsors in positive or negative ways, depending on sponsors' knowledge and response. Market consolidation is likely to continue, presenting further opportunities for sponsors to leverage better deals. Effective management of specialty drugs, which are increasing in demand, will be crucial. Plan participation in a preferred provider network of retail pharmacies is on the rise. Savings continue to be readily available through generic substitution, especially as more generics become available. The focus on transparency, boosted by Affordable Care Act and the Medicare Modernization Act, spotlights true costs across the pharmacy acquisition and dispensing spectrum.
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OPEB Liability: Does It Matter?
Eyre, Barry; Whitcher, Mark; Benefits Magazine; v50 no5 pp 28-33 May 2013; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Other postemployment benefits (OPEB) include health and other nonpension benefits, typically part of public plans. Government entities have not consistently funded OPEB liabilities but must account for them as a result of GASB Statement 45. Public employers have manipulated accounting assumptions to make the liability appear lower. One way employers can reduce the OPEB liability is through the employee group waiver plan (EGWP) subsidy, which permits transferring of pharmacy costs to the federal government. This strategy, less used than the retiree drug subsidy, delivers a higher base subsidy and catastrophic reinsurance and can save from $480 to $840 per Medicare retiree annually. With the tax-free status of the retiree drug subsidy eliminated by the Affordable Care Act, tax paying employers are likely to join public employers in using the EGWP.
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Court Considers Employer's Benefit Plan Changes.
Benefits Magazine; v50 no4 pp 54, 57 Apr 2013; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered previous benefits to be reinstated in Shy et al. v. Navistar International Corp. et al. The defendant company had been the subject of a class action challenging its right to alter retiree health and life insurance benefits, and the current case was another class action to enforce the settlement in the previous case. The court found that the district court judge's interpretation of the consent decree was due deference despite his not authoring the decree, saying he had overseen the drafting of the decree. The court upheld the district court ruling to reinstate the benefits, saying the plan did not grant the defendant express and clear discretionary authority to interpret the plan.
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Redefining Retiree Medical Strategy: Employer Actions in a Post-Reform Environment.
Newsbriefs; v30 no4 pp 3-4 Jul-Aug 2011; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The sixth annual survey on retiree medical strategies by Towers Watson and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists highlights changes likely to culminate in 2013 when many provisions of the health care reform law take effect. Nearly 60 percent of plan sponsors are deliberating modifications. Eighty-seven percent are thinking about federal insurance subsidies for those under age 65, 73 percent are concerned about the excise tax for Cadillac plans and 58 percent expect to make changes in response to improved prescription drug coverage for retirees. Many are considering ways to get out of sponsoring benefits for retirees eligible for Medicare, quitting entirely by 2013, transitioning to insured Medigap plans or hiring a Medicare coordinator to help retirees with the change. Most of the 80 percent subsidizing pre-Medicare coverage plan to continue, though 46 percent already cap their subsidies.
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More Employers Studying Medicare Options.
Muralidharan, Adrienne; Benefits & Compensation Digest; v47 no12 pp 20-23 Dec 2010; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is making Medicare offer more comprehensive coverage, making it more like a Medicare Advantage plan. Some employers are responding to this by reassessing the need for their own Medicare Advantage plans. Since it was ruled nondiscriminatory, more employers are reducing or eliminating retiree health coverage for Medicare eligible individuals. The government promoted the retiree drug subsidy heavily when it was introduced in 2006, but many employers found that participating was burdensome and offered questionable benefits. Employers are also looking to private funding vehicles, such as voluntary employees' beneficiary associations or 115 trusts, to pay for retiree medical benefits.
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Part D Employer Retiree Drug Subsidy: Inception, Implementation and Issues.
Costello, Ann; Benefits Quarterly; v26 no4 pp 50-61 4th Qtr 2010; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The federal government established Medicare Part D to provide an employer subsidy for retiree drug costs as an incentive to retain retirees on employers' health plans. Employers had three choices for implementing the plan or could decline involvement. In 2006, over 70 percent of eligible employers chose the subsidy option, receiving from $43,000 to $85 million. Analysis of data for 2006 and 2007 showed 95 of 122 companies examined accepted the subsidy, with the highest percentage in the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, followed by the chemical and rubber sector. Firms accepting the subsidy tended to be large and financially strong. Employers are likely to reconsider their strategies when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act removes the subsidy's tax deductibility.
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