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Welfare Plans Edition

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August 24, 2000

What Recourse?-- Liability for Managed-Care Decisions and ERISA
Excerpt: "Should managed-care organizations be accountable to patients injured by the company's negligence or wrongdoing? The general rule is that all organizations ... are legally liable for causing personal injury as a result of their own negligence or the negligence of their employees or agents.... [ERISA] has been interpreted to grant health benefit plans provided by employers or unions (and the managed-care organizations that sell or administer them) immunity ..." (The New England Journal of Medicine)

Firms Try to Slow Employees' Exits;Turnover Rate Hits 19-Year High
Excerpt: "Workers leave jobs for others that have better perks or pay. They also leave because of family situations, such as spouses changing jobs and moving out of state. Others are changing careers or opting to stay home with children. Turnover, whatever the reason, is becoming costly for businesses, company officials said." (The Des Moines Register)

Fact Sheet: Leave of Absence Benefits Among Private-Sector Employers
Excerpt: "Paid leave is one of the most common benefits offered by employers. In 1997, 89 percent of full-time employees in medium and large private establishments were eligible to participate in paid holidays; 95 percent in paid vacation leave; and 56 percent in paid sick leave. Among full-time employees in medium and large private establishments in 1997, the average number of paid holidays was 9.3 days per year." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Once Again, Money Has the Last Word
Excerpt: "... a survey being released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates the collapse in Net and dot-com stocks seems to be pushing companies to pay their executives more as old-economy companies did, with a somewhat bigger emphasis on salaries and cash bonuses tied to company results." (Boston Globe)

AMA Offers Medical Savings Accounts to Its Members
Excerpt: "AMA Insurance Agency Inc., which markets and administers insurance plans for members of the Chicago-based organization, has entered agreements with MSAver Resources LLC and Merrill Lynch & Co. to make MSAs available to self-employed physicians and group practices with 50 or fewer employees. AMA Insurance Agency is a wholly owned subsidiary of the AMA." (A. M. Best)

Hospitals Get Upper Hand on Insurers in Fight Over Cost
Excerpt: "[Houston's] Memorial Hermann Healthcare System says that unless United Healthcare offers to pay it higher rates, it's not interested in doing business with United Healthcare's members. Not long ago, hospital systems like Memorial Hermann would have offered discounts and accepted below-market rates to bring in more members and gain market share. Now the balance of power is shifting. Hospitals are gaining the upper hand." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

CEO Pay Rides Market Waves
Excerpt: "As the economy has boomed, so has interest in options, with the bull market creating a bonanza for corporate America. Local publicly held companies are no exception." (Greensboro [NC] News & Record)

SEC Posts Executive-Pay Information Online
Excerpt: "Want to know what your boss makes? If you work for a public company, take a peek within the company's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Proxies are available on the Internet at www.sec.gov or at www.freeedgar.com" (Greensboro [NC] News and Record)

Now More Than Ever, Web Execs Want Cold Cash as Compensation
Excerpt: "While stock options are still an attractive perk for new Internet executives, many are increasingly asking for cold, hard cash, according to a study released yesterday by PricewaterhouseCoopers." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Opinion: Mr. Cheney's Options
Excerpt: "... Americans should wonder why [Halliburton] the Dallas-based oil services company went further and allowed Mr. Cheney to keep 400,000 more stock options that he would ordinarily have had to work additional years to acquire.... That special favor, worth at least $6 million at today's prices and potentially a lot more, would tie Mr. Cheney's financial fortunes to those of the company -- and therefore to the price of oil -- well into a potential Bush-Cheney administration." (New York Times; free registration required)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

401(k)/Pension Administratorfor Stephen Eldridge & Company, Inc.
in NH
Employee Benefits Legal Assistantfor Thompson Hine & Flory LLP
in OH
Defined Contribution Plan Administrator/Compliancefor an investment management company
in NY
Retirement Benefits Supervisorfor Esterline Technologies Corporation
in WA
Benefits and Compensation Consultantsfor Specialized Recruiters
in OH
Benefits Consultant - WCX0001265for Kaiser Permanente
in CA
Salespersonfor InvestLink

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