June 18, 2019

Archives for May 18, 2010

Update: HHS Details Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

As of June 1, Americans who opt to retire early will be eligible for a temporary program that will assist them in maintaining affordable health coverage during the “gap” years between early retirement and Medicare eligibility.

Under the program, early retirees will see lower costs and a greater variety of choices in high-quality, affordable health care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which itself is part of President Obama’s larger healthcare reform agenda.

How will this program affect employers? A Fact Sheet released by the White House press office summarized the program’s key benefits to employers:

This temporary program will make it easier for employers to provide coverage to early retirees.

Employers who are accepted into the program will receive reinsurance reimbursement for medical claims for retirees age 55 and older who are not eligible for Medicare, and their spouses, surviving spouses, and dependents.

Health benefits that qualify for relief include medical, surgical, hospital, prescription drug, and other benefits that may be specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, as well as coverage for mental health services.

The amount of this reimbursement to the employer plan is up to 80% of claims costs for health benefits between $15,000 and $90,000. Claims incurred between the start of the plan year (often January 1) and June 1st are credited towards toward the $15,000 threshold for reimbursement. However, only medical expenses incurred after June 1, 2010 are eligible for reimbursement under this program.

For example: If an individual incurs costs of $30,000 between the start of the plan year and June 1, and $40,000 after that date.  The amount which may be reimbursed is $40,000 – the costs above the $15,000 threshold that occur after June 1.

If a plan incurs $90,000 or more in expenses before June 1, it is treated as having met the $15,000 threshold and is eligible for reimbursement for costs incurred after June 1.

These limits apply and claims are filed for individual’s costs.  Firms cannot add two or more individuals together to attain the threshold.

Both self-funded and insured plans can apply, including plans sponsored by private entities, state and local governments, nonprofits, religious entities, unions, and other employers.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius remarked:

Rising costs have made it hard for employers to provide quality, affordable health insurance for workers and retirees. As a result, many Americans who retire before they are eligible for Medicare are worried about losing health insurance coverage through their former employers, putting them at risk of losing their life savings due to medical costs. This new program will provide much-needed relief so that employers can provide more retirees with quality, affordable insurance, starting this year.

The Act includes $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to retain coverage for retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program will end in 2014, when Americans will be able to choose healthcare coverage through insurance exchanges.

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 5/18/10

Legislation: Governor Signs Child-Protection Bills

Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law three legislative bills on Friday that will constitute sweeping changes to the child-protection system in Colorado.

Sen. Linda Newell (D-Littleton) and Rep. Sara Gagliardi (D-Arvada) co-sponsored two of the bills: SB 10-171, which creates and appropriates a statewide child-protection ombudsman program; and SB 10-152, which bolsters the mandatory reporting requirements for suspected child abuse.

The third bill, HB 10-1359, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), changes the venue for dependency and neglect proceedings and clarifies jurisdictional issues between departments of social services when multiple counties are involved.

Said the governor:

Before I became Governor, I spent two decades in law enforcement. I know how devastating child abuse and neglect is, not only on families, but on entire communities. As Governor, I also know we have a child-welfare system that is broken. We have worked hard the past three years to address those problems, and the legislation I am signing today represents a significant victory for Colorado kids. We have a moral obligation to protect vulnerable children. We have a moral obligation to prevent child abuse and neglect. We have a moral obligation to keep our youngest citizens out of harm’s way.

He added:

This means making changes to our child-protection system. It means putting aside politics and working together. And it means looking beyond the way we have always done things, and instead looking ahead to doing the best thing, the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing.

(image source: Office of the Governor)

CLE: Medical Marijuana and Parenting Time Program Slated for May 24

As part of its continuing series on the myriad legal issues surrounding the use of medical marijuana in Colorado, CBA-CLE will hold a one-hour lunchtime program exploring the impact of medical marijuana usage by a parent on the outcome of Colorado domestic relations cases.

This one-hour session will focus on practical skills, using case studies and recent data to assist the practitioner in preparing to handle these cases. The program will be held in CBA-CLE’s small classroom, and starts at noon. A catered lunch will be served. Participants may also attend via webcast.

“Parenting under the influence” is a frequent issue in family law cases, according to CLE presenters Laurel Anne Markus and Sunni Ball. This trend is expected to continue as medical marijuana usage increases throughout the state of Colorado. Standards for legal usage of marijuana are practically nonexistent, distinguishing marijuana from other prescription drugs or alcohol.

In the absence of published case law, family law professionals must be creative advocates when addressing the impact of a parent’s marijuana usage on the allocation of parental responsibilities. Appropriate consideration should be given to:

  • The diagnosis resulting in the prescription of marijuana;
  • The using parent’s prior history of drug or alcohol abuse, if any;
  • The type of marijuana usage;
  • The frequency of usage;
  • Whether the marijuana is used during parenting time and/or in the child’s presence;
  • Any precautions taken to protect minors from exposure to marijuana;
  • The need for motor vehicle operation during parenting time; and
  • Other fact-specific issues.

Register today for this informative program. The presentation will also be available as a live webcastvideo on demand, and MP3 download for those unable to attend. The program is eligible for one general CLE credit.

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Resource: State Judicial Updates Sex Offender Registration Forms

This month, State Judicial updated a bundle of forms for the discontinuation of sex offender registration for both Colorado and non-Colorado convictions. The new forms are already in effect, and practitioners should begin using them immediately.

All forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats. Most are also available as Word templates; download templates from State Judicial’s Colorado Convictions Forms and Non-Colorado Convictions Forms pages.

Forms are applicable in both juvenile and adult sex offender convictions.

Colorado Convictions

  • JDF 4601, “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Adult)” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 461, “Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 462, “Notice of Hearing of Petition” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 463, “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 472, “Prepetition Notice of Intent to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 476, “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Juvenile)” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 479, “Certificate of Mailing” (revised 5/10)

Non-Colorado Convictions

  • JDF 4601, “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Adult)” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 472, “Prepetition Notice of Intent to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 473, “Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 474, “Notice of Hearing on Petition” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 475, “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 476, “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Juvenile)” (revised 5/10)
  • JDF 479, “Certificate of Mailing” (revised 5/10)

State Judicial is in the process of translating all of its forms into Spanish, but these forms are not yet available in Spanish. Please note that regardless of whether a form is English or Spanish, state statute (C.R.S. § 13-1-120) requires all forms to be completed in English.

Update: State High Court Amends Statewide Probation Priorities

With her signature, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary J. Mullarkey authorized a revision of statewide probation priorities in Chief Justice Directive 04-03.

Clauses amended in the Directive concern community initiatives and restorative justice, supplemental probation contract services, domestic violence screening and assessment, investigation services, probation performance review, probation advisory committee, supervision of probationers, victim impact statements, and victim notification and services.

The amendments replace CJD 02-02 and became effective April 21, 2010.

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 5/17/10

The Tenth Circuit on Monday issued two published opinions and seven unpublished opinions.

Published

In Lewis v. Tripp, the Court reviews its own authority to review a qualified immunity case and then reverses a summary judgment issued by the district court with instructions to issue a summary judgment in favor of the public employee claiming qualified immunity.

In Rocky Mtn. Christian Church v. Board of County Commissioners, the Court found that the district was correct to rule in favor of the Rocky Mountain Christian Church (RMCC) on three counts of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and that the permanent injunction requiring the county to issue RMCC its special use permit was consistent with the jury’s verdict in favor of RMCC. (Covered here by the Daily Camera.)

Unpublished

United States v. Stewart

United States v. Robertson

Lewis v. Central Market

Torrez v. Eley

United States v. Benitez-Diaz

Contreras v. Franklin

Muniz v. Heredia