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Welfare Plans Edition

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September 29, 2000

6th Cir.: Common Law Constructive Trust Can Be Imposed on ERISA Plan Benefits After Distribution
Excerpt: "JoAnn filed for divorce ... [a domestic relations order was issued,] prohibiting both JoAnn and Kenneth from 'acting to dispose of, to destroy, sell, transfer, or conceal any of the marital assets of the parties' during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Notwithstanding this order, Kenneth changed the beneficiary designation on all three life insurance policies from JoAnn to his children." (FindLaw.com)

Ventura Signs Off on Plan for Extending Domestic Partner Benefits to Minnesota State Employees

To Improve Retention, Employers Should Consider Pay Increases, Flex Time And 'Nonwork' Priorities
Excerpt: "Local business owners must consider giving their employees higher raises and more perks-- such as flex time-- if they want to keep these employees in this region's tight labor market. That was the conclusion of a survey done by Washington Employers Inc., a Seattle-based research and training firm for local businesses that released an economic forecast and workplace trend report Wednesday." ([Tacoma WA] News-Tribune)

Simplified Per-Diem Rates and Transition Rules Issued for Post-Sept. 30 Reimbursed Employee Travel
Excerpt: "[Rev. Proc. 2000-39 says an] employer may pay a per-diem amount to an employee on business-travel status, instead of reimbursing actual substantiated expenses for away-from-home lodging, meal and incidental expenses. If the rate paid doesn't exceed IRS approved maximums,and the employee provides simplified substantiation (time, place and business purpose), the per-diem reimbursement ... isn't subject to income- or payroll-tax withholding and isn't reported on the employee's Form W-2." (RIA Federal Taxes Weekly Alert)

Ward's 50 Benchmark Lists Strongest Group Life Insurance, Group Health Insurance Companies
Excerpt: "Companies that make the Ward's 50 Benchmark Group may not necessarily have excellent customer-service records, but it's likely that they'll be around for a long time." (insure.com)

Massage-at-Work Program Can Boost Morale, Cut Sick Time, Therapists Say
(The Tennessean)

HCFA Memorandum Strikes Down "Actively-At-Work" Clauses Under State Insurance Laws
Excerpt: "An "actively-at-work" provision used to discriminate against an individual based on a health factor, such as disability, is not permitted under the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), according to a recent program memorandum released by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The clarification is included in HCFA Program Memorandum 00-04 ..." (Spencernet)

Health Insurance Coverage Will Be Required for U. California Students Next Year
Excerpt: "The University of California Board of Regents made a precedent-setting authorization for UC President Richard AC. Atkinson to make health insurance a new undergraduate admissions requirement starting fall 2001. The decision comes in response to growing numbers of health-related dropouts." (news.excite.com)

Statement by Consumers Union On New U.S. Census Bureau Numbers on Americans Without Health Insurance
Excerpt: "But the new census figures are also a reminder that Congress has important, unfinished business as lawmakers head toward adjournment. It is simply shameful that this country, at a time of unprecedented prosperity and record budget surpluses, leaves well over forty million Americans -- including ten million children -- without health insurance." (Consumers Union)

Number of Insured Americans Is Up for First Time Since '87
Excerpt: "After rising relentlessly for 11 years, the number of Americans without health insurance declined last year, to 42.6 million, a reduction of 1.7 million from 1998, the Census Bureau reported today." (New York Times; free registration required)

Alberta Privatizes Part of Its Health Benefits, Kinda-Sorta
Excerpt: "Alberta's contentious private health-care legislation will become law Thursday. The new legislation allows private clinics to offer surgical procedures requiring overnight stays and also puts new restrictions on existing clinics regarding services they can provide for an extra charge. Critics and opposition politicians say the Health Care Protection Act opens the door to privatized health care, while the Alberta government maintains that it protects medicare." (news.excite.ca)

Number of Health-Uninsured Americans Drops -- First Time in Ten Years
Excerpt: "The U.S. Census Bureau said on Thursday that the number of people without health insurance declined for the first time in more than a decade in 1999 as more Americans received coverage from their employers. President Clinton hailed the news, saying it validated his administration's health care and economic policies, including the creation of a new Children's Health Insurance Program." (Reuters via Excite! News)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

New on Benefits Buzz by Topic: Estate Planning Aspects of Employee Benefits

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Manager, Campaign Servicesfor New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
401(k) Investment Educator, Boston Area, Denver, Seattle, Chicagofor ADP, Inc.
in CO, IL, MA, WA
Benefits Attorneyfor ERNST & YOUNG LLP
in IL, MN, NY, PA
ERISA Specialistfor Transamerica Retirement Services
in CA
Client Relationship Managerfor Scudder Kemper Investments Inc.
in NH
Technical Plan Administratorfor Scudder Kemper Investments Inc.
in NH
401(k) Administratorfor RPSC
in GA
Client Relationship Manager, Trust Environmentfor Reliance Trust Company
in GA
in TX
Service Integration Managerfor Fidelity Investments - Marlborough Campus
in MA
Director of Compensation and Benefits- US/Latin Americafor America At Work
in FL

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