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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

May 12, 2000

Wisconsin Company Offering Web Site That Will Let Patients Bid on Surgery
Excerpt: "Patients in need of open-heart surgery, cancer surgery or other operations soon will be able to use a new online service offered by a Kenosha company to seek bids from doctors and then pick the best one to do the procedure." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Company-Provided Computers Are Often Perks with A Price: More Work
Excerpt: "Advances in technology are expanding those possibilities by giving millions of people the ability to file reports from home, collaborate with co-workers around the world and provide clients and supervisors the instant access they've come to expect." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

6th Cir: Beneficiary Must Be "Made Whole" Before Health Care Plan Can Enforce Subrogation Provision
Excerpt: "A health care plan beneficiary must be 'made whole' before the plan can enforce its right to subrogation under ERISA, unless the plan specifically provides to the contrary. This was the ruling of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Copeland Oaks v. Haupt." (Spencernet)

Dallas-Area Web Firm Employees Enjoy the Good Life Both on And Off The Job
Excerpt: "Internet start-ups' biggest selling point to job candidates, besides stock options, is a culture that tries to make work less laborious and more gratifying. Experts say the strategy, if executed well, can help companies recruit and retain highly skilled professionals." (Dallas Morning News)

Add A Lackey to Employee Benefits
Excerpt: "Mylackey.com, the new way to do errands, chores and more online, today announced it launched the mylackey.com @Work Program, an innovative employee incentive program designed for corporate customers." (PR Newswire)

More Men Forsake Jobs to be Full-Time Fathers
Excerpt: "This change in attitude is driven as much by the flexibility of high-tech telecommuting as it is by the hard-won battles of the women's movement. It's an attitude that is slowly changing the ways that US companies, big and small, are attracting and retaining their workers." (Christian Science Monitor)

Increase Job Satisfaction without Increasing The Bottom Line
Excerpt: "In addition to flexibility, the survey revealed a range of soft benefits that would encourage employees to remain with their current employers." (Business Wire)

Company Pampers Employees to Keep Them Happy and in the Fold
Excerpt: "Total System is credited with helping to create a middle class in Columbus, once dominated by textile mills. The high-tech company's modern headquarters stands out against the old-fashioned city, but it has kept its small-town, family-style approach to relationships with its card issuers and it takes the same approach with its staff." (American Banker)

Health Insurers Are Slow to See Benefits of Covering the Pill
Excerpt: "The birth control pill turns 40 Tuesday, but insurance companies nationwide still balk at covering its cost." (New York Times Syndicate)

Wisconsin Statute Creates Review Panels to Rule on Insured Health Claim Denials
Excerpt: "Legislation establishing independent panels to rule on appeals from patients denied medical care coverage by their health insurance companies is to be signed into law today, Gov. Tommy G. Thompson's office said." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Clinton Tries to Break Patients' Rights Impasse
Excerpt: "President Clinton prodded key members of Congress yesterday to resolve differences over legislation to protect patients in managed-care programs, but there was no immediate breakthrough." (Washington Post)

Democrats Press Republicans on Patients' Rights Legislation
Excerpt: "President Clinton and his fellow Democrats pressed Republicans Thursday to make progress on key obstacles to a patients' bill of rights legislation by the end of the month." (Reuters via news.excite.com)

Patients' Rights Bill Stuck In Congress
Excerpt: "Russia has changed leaders, America has chosen two presidential nominees, and the world's first successful gene therapy has unfolded since the US House and Senate last year agreed to iron out differences in their competing plans to regulate the nation's health care industry." (New York Times Syndicate)

Lawmakers Say Patient Rights Bill Will Be Completed
Excerpt: "Lawmakers said [on Thursday] they were determined to finish a patients' rights bill, even though Democrats and Republicans remained divided on everything from how much progress they've made to how many Americans should be covered by the legislation." (Associated Press)

Lawmakers Defy Governor Over HMO Reform Bill
Excerpt: "Defying Gov. Gray Davis, lawmakers Tuesday refused to endorse a bill that consumers say would have gutted one of the most important HMO reforms passed in California last year." (Los Angeles Times)

California Assembly Committee Rejects Effort to Deter Patients from Suing HMOs
Excerpt: "Democrats in the Legislature have rejected an attempt by Gov. Davis to water down a cornerstone of the landmark HMO reforms he signed into law last year: the right for patients to sue their HMOs to recover medical costs." (SF Gate)

Gore 2000 "Fact Sheet" on Long-Term Care
Excerpt: "Once again, George W. Bush is making empty promises he can't pay for because he has already spent the surplus on his risky tax scheme and other proposals. And while Bush has been silent over the last year on the Administration's long term care initiative, Al Gore and the Administration have been fighting for real improvements in long-term care." (Gore 2000)

Bush Proposes Tax Break to Help Aging Americans Buy Private Long-Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: " ... 5 percent [of the national long-term health care expense] is paid by private insurance. Almost all the private insurance is bought by individuals rather than provided by employers. Bush proposed allowing all those who buy long-term care insurance to deduct the cost of the premiums from their taxable income." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune)

Copyright 2000 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.

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