Health Care Benefits Symposium set for March 31 St. Thomas Newsroom March 8, 2011 A health care benefits symposium, “2011 and Beyond: Aligning Health Care Benefits to Support Your Business Strategy,” will be presented on Thursday, March 31. The symposium will be hosted by the Health Care UST MBA. UST affiliates are invited to join the symposium free of charge.The symposium will be held from 3 to 5:30 p.m. in Thornton Auditorium, Terrence Murphy Hall, on the university’s Minneapolis campus. The cost is $20. UST students and affiliates may attend for free.An optional small-group dinner discussion for those who attend the symposium will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 252, Terrence Murphy Hall. This additional opportunity was designed to provide a time for in-depth interaction with the panelists and with fellow attendees. The cost of the dinner discussion is $30.This event will help those responsible for their organization’s health care benefits to:Understand the current state of the PPACA health reform legislation and its potential impacts on employer-provided health care benefits options.Explore how employers can make benefits decisions that support the business strategy and corporate culture of their organizations while addressing the cost of health care.Dr. Paul FronstinThe program will feature keynote speaker Dr. Paul Fronstin, director of the Health Research and Education Program of EBRI, the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C., whose task is “to provide objective information regarding the employee benefit system and related financial security issues, to achieve its primary goal: that policy and design decisions be based on verifiable facts.” Researchers, policymakers and the media rely heavily on EBRI research.Among many accomplishments, Fronstin was appointed to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Determination of Essential Health Benefits in 2010. He also is the associate editor of Benefits Quarterly. He will discuss the current state of the PPACA legislation and his views of the key implications and considerations for businesses. The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion with prominent leaders in the business and health care industries, each of whom will share insights into the strategic considerations that employers must evaluate in making decisions such as “pay or play” (whether to maintain, modify or discontinue health benefits), to self-insure or not, potential impacts of health and wellness programs, and other issues of concern for the participants.Presenters include:Julie Brunner, J.D., executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans: “Minnesota’s Implementation of the Affordable Care Act – administrative and legislative update”Steve Friedman, J.D., L.L.M., chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group, and Bruce McNeil, M.A., J.D., L.L.M., shareholder, Littler Mendelson, P.C.: “Preparing for Reform – decision points and key legal and cost considerations”Tony Massey, M.D., medical director, Cigna Behavioral Health: “Beyond the ROI of Wellness”David Olson, president, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce: “What Are Smaller Employers Thinking?Dr. Mick Sheppeck, professor of human resources, University of St. Thomas: “Implications for HR Strategy and Organizational Culture”The dinner discussion that follows the afternoon symposium will be moderated by Bruce McNeil of Littler Mendelson, P.C., and will allow participants to dig further into the issues of most concern.For more information and to register visit the event Web page.