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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

May 11, 2000

D.C. Cir: Voluntary Separation Program Was Not A "Plan" Triggering Fiduciary Duties Under ERISA
Excerpt: "An employer did not breach its fiduciary duties under ERISA by failing to disclose that it was considering the implementation of a voluntary separation incentive program because the program was not a 'plan' governed by ERISA. This was the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Young, et al. v. Washington Gas Light Company." (Spencernet)

Texas Teachers Sue Horace Mann Over "Fine Print" in Disability Insurance
Excerpt: "Horace Mann Life Insurance Co. is being sued by a group of Texas teachers who allege the company deceptively marketed long-term disability insurance policies under which benefits would be greatly reduced if they retired early due to disability." (insure.com)

Bonus Guarantees Can Come Back to Bite You
Excerpt: "Guaranteed bonuses in the land of risk? That's what passes as the latest creative idea out of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

House-Passed Bill Would Improve Federal Employees' Ability to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "For the first time, current and retired federal employees and military personnel would be eligible to purchase long-term health care insurance at group rates under legislation passed unanimously by the House yesterday." (Baltimore Sun)

Requirements Placed Upon the Calif Department of Managed Care on January 1, 2001, per AB55 and SB189
Regarding mandated independent medical reviews and "in-plan grievance systems." (Health Administration Responsibility Project)

California Governor Davis' Attempt To Narrow HMO Liability Law Fails
Excerpt: "On Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee defeated a bill backed by Governor Davis to narrow the scope of California's HMO liability law." (Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights)

1999 HMO Executive Pay Strong Despite Poor Showing
Excerpt: "If a CEO's most important job is delivering shareholder value, 1999 was hardly a banner year for executives of managed care companies. Still, last year's poor financial performance, patient backlash against managed care policies, and class-action lawsuits didn't make much of a dent in CEOs' paychecks, according to a recent survey by Atlantic Information Services." (Medscape; free registration required)

Rethinking Common HMO Practices
Excerpt: "Is the patient-protection deal Texas struck with the managed-care behemoth, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, really good for consumers? That question matters, because the agreement is being touted as a model for Aetna and other HMOs nationally." (Jane Bryant Quinn, on SFGate)

IRS, DOL, PBGC Issue Regulatory Agendas
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation have issued their semiannual regulatory agendas. The agendas, all of which appeared in the April 24 Federal Register, set forth when proposed rules are scheduled to be issued and when final action is expected on proposed regulations." (Spencernet)

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