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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

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October 3, 2000

Same-Sex Benefits Can Ring Up Tax Bill
Excerpt: "Unlike health benefits paid to employees, their spouses and their dependents, benefits for domestic partners aren't exempt from federal taxes.... The Internal Revenue Service's position on this issue isn't new: It outlined its interpretation of tax regulations in a 1996 private letter ruling to companies with domestic partner benefits. But it's taking on a greater importance now that more companies are offering domestic partner benefits." (USA Today)

Legal Ramifications Of Communication
Excerpt: "Communication is a vital component of any successful employee benefit plan. Communication takes place every day in a variety of forms and for a variety of purposes. Because of its capacity to make an employee benefit plan successful, as well as its capacity to create significant legal problems, communication is a topic which merits careful consideration by plan fiduciaries, administrators, and service providers." (Gorsuch Kirgis LLP)

Emphasizing Health Care Quality: How to Boost Benefits Without Breaking the Benefits Bank
Excerpt: "[H]ow about adopting a plan that sets health-care quality as its main goal, as a means of controlling costs? Counterintuitive as that may seem, it's the approach Wausau, Wisconsin-based Wausau Benefits Inc. is taking in its health-care self-insurance program for 800 employees.... The [goal is to reduce] costs associated with poor preventive screening for disease, redundant or inappropriate treatment, or simple medical mistakes and lack of oversight." (CFO magazine)

10 Things Your HMO Doctor Won't Tell You
Excerpt: "[A recent Supreme Court decision] calls into question the various laws against [physician] incentives and disincentives in Texas and 22 other states. It also raises the issue: If such incentives are legal, how could they affect your care?" (SmartMoney.com)

GOP Aims To Restore Patients Rights
Excerpt: "A plan to restore Medicare cuts progressed through the House even as GOP leaders made efforts to resurrect a patients' rights measure." (Associated Press)

Long-Term Care Insurance: Better Information Critical to Prospective Purchasers (PDF)
(General Accounting Office)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Graef Crystal: Call a Doc, Ellison's Greed Glands Set to Burst
Excerpt: "'Row harder, row harder!' That's the chant echoing from Oracle Corp. headquarters as Chief Executive Larry Ellison exhorts his shareholder galley slaves to close that last gap in his race with Bill Gates for the title of world's richest humanoid." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Employee Benefit Trust Acct. Administrator IIIfor Riggs Bank
in DC, MD
Employee Benefits Account Specialist 2for SunTrust Banks, Atlanta
in GA
in CA, OR
Director of 401(k) Strategic Marketingfor Mark Stranberg and Associates (Retained Search Firm)
in NY
Vice President/Senior Sales Consultantfor Brandywine Benefits Corporation
in DE

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