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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

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September 21, 2000

Statement by the President on H.R. 4040 -- The Long-Term Care Security Act
Excerpt: "Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 4040, the 'Long-Term Care Security Act.' It includes two titles -- the 'Long-Term Care Security Act' and the 'Federal Erroneous Retirement Coverage Corrections Act' [creating] a new program of group long-term care insurance for Federal employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, employees and annuitants of the U.S. Postal Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority, and relatives of these individuals." (U.S. Newswire)

American Council of Life Insurers Lauds Federal Long-Term Care Bill Signed by President
(Business Wire)

President Signs Long-Term Care Bill
(A. M. Best)

Clinton Signs Federal Worker Health-Care Bill
(United Press International)

Long-Term Insurance Coverage Expanded
Excerpt: "President Clinton yesterday signed into law a bill that extends long-term care insurance for 13 million federal employees, members of the military and their families." (Washington Post)

PNHP Data Update -- September 2000
Statistics on the uninsured and underinsured, Hispanic health coverage, prescription drug coverage for seniors, health costs, more. (Physicians for a National Health Program)

Opinion: Everyone Wins With Medical Savings Accounts
Excerpt: "With the rush to subsidize prescription drugs for seniors, a radical improvement in American health care policy for those Americans under age 65 has been totally lost. Vice President Al Gore's and Texas Gov. George W. Bush's positions on an obscure health care concept-- one which will revolutionize the medical profession-- will shape the future of medicine." (Alabama Live)

Think Tank: MSA Expansions Could Drive Up Health Insurance Premiums And Create New Tax Shelter
Excerpt: "Few would propose a tax cut for the affluent paid for with increased health insurance premiums on the sick. That is the probable consequence, however, of a proposal to expand Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) that Representative Bill Archer recently has named as one of his top priorities for passage this year. Representative Archer hopes to attach the provisions to other legislation moving at the end of the session." (Center on Budget Policies and Priorities)

APPWP Condemns New Version of Managed Care Bill
Excerpt: "Reps. John Dingell, D-Mich., and Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., whose bill passed the House last October, but has been mired in a House-Senate conference ever since, have been redrafting their legislation in an attempt to reach a compromise with opponents of the liability provisions of the bill that would make it easier for patients to sue their health plans for damages. But [a new APPWP] analysis... said that in many ways the new legislation allows even more lawsuits than the original bill." (Medscape; free registration required)

Nontraditional Workers Gain Eligibility for New York Health Insurance Program
Excerpt: "Actors and other New Yorkers employed in nontraditional jobs will be eligible to join the state's subsidized health insurance program when it opens next year. Gov. George Pataki signed a law ... that amends the state's Health Care Reform Act of 2000. Among other things, the amendment expands insurance coverage under the new Healthy New York insurance program to residents who work in nontraditional fields, such as start-up companies, or who move from job to job, as actors often do." (insure.com)

Survey: HMO Premiums Seen Rising in 2001, 2002
Excerpt: "Health maintenance organizations in the United States are expected to increase insurance premium prices by an average 10.5 percent next year on top of a 9.25 percent increase this year, signaling healthy profit margins ahead for HMOs, according to a survey by an analyst." (Reuters via Excite! News)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Testimony on the Global Aging Crisis
Hearing held September 21, 2000. On the panel: Ben J.Wattenberg, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Peter R.Orszag, Ph.D., President, Sebago Associates, Belmont, CA; Paul S. Hewitt, Project Director, Global Aging Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies; David Hale, Ph.D., Global Chief Economist, Zurich Insurance Group, Chicago, IL; and Vincent J. Truglia, Managing Director and Co-Head, Sovereign Risk Unit, Moody's Investors Services, New York, NY. (House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Social Security)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
An employer offers either COBRA coverage or alternative health coverage to a retiree, his spouse and his dependent. They decline COBRA coverage in favor of the alternative health coverage. Two years later, the spouse and dependent lose the alternative health coverage due to the retiree's death. Must the spouse and dependents be offered COBRA again, even though they were offered COBRA (and declined it)? (BenefitsLink.com)

Gore Vows to Protect Your Medical Privacy
Excerpt: "Vice President Al Gore turned his attention on Tuesday to medical privacy with a pledge to make it illegal for health insurance companies and others to sell personal medical records for profit." (insure.com)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
An employee gets a divorce. We did not know at the time that the ex-spouse had access to health coverage through his own employer. However, because he had dependent coverage under our plan, we offered him 36 months of COBRA coverage. Are we still required to provide the ex-spouse with COBRA coverage if he has the ability to take coverage from his employer? (BenefitsLink.com)

Saturn Offers Buyouts to Employees
Excerpt: "Battered by sluggish sales, Saturn Corp. is offering incentives of up to $25,000 to employees at its Spring Hill plant in an effort to trim expenses until production is increased late next year. The company is offering incentives to United Auto Workers members in Spring Hill to either retire early, quit, take an unpaid leave of absence or agree to sharing a job with another employee." (New York Times; free registration required)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Retirement Sales District Managerfor ADP, Inc., A Leader in the Defined Contribution Market
in CA, NY
Director of Business Developmentfor ADP,Inc., A Leader in the Defined Contribution MarketPlace
in NJ
Account Manager / Group Benefits Departmentfor Employee Benefits Consulting Firm
in FL
Employee Benefits Plan Specialistfor King & Spalding
in GA
401(k) Recordkeeper/Employee Benefits Analystfor TeamVest, Inc.
in NC
Retirement Plan Administratorfor Alliance Benefit Group
in MN
Daily Valuation Administratorfor RM White & Associates
in CO
Benefits Administration Team Leadfor KAISER PERMANENTE
in CA

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