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Welfare Plans Edition

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June 27, 2000

Bill Clarifies Church Plans Status
Excerpt: "Legislation approved by the House Monday clarifies the legal status of church-based health care and pension plans, ending the uncertainty that has discouraged some health insurance companies from doing business with church plans." (Associated Press, via Yahoo! News)

Opinion: Medical Costs, Hippocratic Oath Collide
Excerpt: "Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision that may be comforting to health maintenance organizations, or HMOs. However, the opinion offers little comfort to the ill and injured patients who depend on HMOs and the doctors they employ." (Martin B. Paskind in the Albuquerque Journal)

OPM Final Rule Allows Federal Employees To Use Sick Leave For Family Illness
Excerpt: "The Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued a final rule allowing federal employees to take accrued paid sick leave for up to 12 weeks each year to care for a seriously ill family member." (Spencernet)

North Carolina Companies Extend Benefits to Same-Sex, Live-in Partners
Excerpt: "The merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica gave all employees access to the company's domestic-partners benefits. Before the merger, the unmarried partners of employees of NationsBank, based in Charlotte, did not receive benefits. Now, Bank of America employees can sign up for health, vision and dental benefits for same- and opposite-sex partners, as well as their partners' children ..." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Providing Personal Planners as Perks: Concierges to Serve Workers
Excerpt: "As large and medium-sized companies compete to attract and retain the best employees, they are paying more attention to their corporate cultures. Some are turning to concierge services ..." (San Jose Mercury News)

Survey Results: The Many Faces of Educational Benefits
Excerpt: "In January 2000, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) surveyed a random sample of corporate members. The survey instrument was designed to take an in-depth look at employer-provided educational benefit programs and to analyze differences across employer characteristics (e.g., employer size and industry)." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

New Fringe Benefit: Errand Portals Let You Shop at Work
Excerpt: "The latest answer to attracting and retaining quality workers? A Web site where they can do everything from check stock quotes to plan family reunions and birthdays." (ZDNet.com)

Firms with Better Benefits Have More Profitable Results
Excerpt: "Two new studies show companies with good human resource programs in place are more profitable and can better attract and retain good workers." (Thanks to Tim Younkin for recommending the link!) (Business First)

6/22/2000 Legislative Update on Benefits for Federal Employees
Excerpt: "Here's a look at pending bills that affect federal pay and benefits." (GovExec.com)

Green Party Endorses Single-Payer National Healthcare System
Excerpt: "A single-insurer system funded by the federal government and administered at the state and local levels remains viable and is an essential barometer of our national health and well-being." (Physicians for a National Health Program)

Add Employee Benefits Topical Headlines to Your Company's Web Site, Free
Would your company like to include employee benefits headlines on its Web site, gathered every day for you by BenefitsLink at no charge? Using a simple coding process called "frames," you can add a free page of linked headlines to your site about any one or more of the topics covered by BenefitsLink. (BenefitsLink)

Mapping of Human Genome Raises Serious Issues For Individual vs. Corporate Rights
Excerpt: "Today's announcement of the mapping of the human genome by a private corporation and a public consortium should be met with suspicion as well as hope. The corporate bid to own and control information about the human genetic code is an omen of the next great struggle facing humanity." (Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights)

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