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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

October 24, 2000

Today's sponsor is International Quality & Productivity Center
(click on banner for more information)

Upcoming conference: Employee Benefits Online: Capitalizing On Online Technology To Radically Streamline Your Benefits Process
November 13 - 14, 2000
Chicago, IL

(Would your company like to sponsor an issue?)

HIPAA Administrative Simplification Not So Simple
Excerpt: "Unlike any other sector of the U.S. economy, administrative simplification puts the U.S. healthcare sector under legal and regulatory mandates to transform its administration from paper to electronic transactions." (National Underwriter Company)

IRS Wins COLI Court Case
Excerpt: "The U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., has issued a ruling that could hurt employers that used corporate-owned life insurance to cut their taxes in the 1980s and early 1990s. Senior U.S. District Judge Murray Schwartz gave the Internal Revenue Service permission to seek more than $6.3 million in COLI-related back taxes and penalties from C.M. Holdings Inc., the holding company for Camelot Music Inc." (National Underwriter Company)

Insurers Use Fun Perks To Test New Sales Ideas
Excerpt: "'Fun benefits' are helping insurers and insurance agencies come up with new strategies for meeting employers' benefits needs. Whether in the form of major financial investments or as a licensed agency building a platform for the delivery of services, insurance companies are getting involved in Internet-delivered benefits that go beyond health coverage." (National Underwriter Company)

Prepaid Legal Puts Experts In The Worker's Corner
(National Underwriter Company)

Health-Benefits Changes Fall Short, Military Retirees Say
Excerpt: "Military retirees, those who served more than 20 years, have mixed reactions to Thursday's passage of a defense spending bill that would extend their health benefits. Retirees scored a big victory, but more work is needed, supporters of the bill said." (Knight Ridder/Tribune)

IBM Retirees Fear Health Benefit Cutbacks
Excerpt: "In the midst of a national debate over healthcare concerns, a letter suggesting IBM might decrease retiree health care coverage has stirred up emotions among the already combative Big Blue retirees." (PlanSponsor.com)

Colorado HMOS Introduce Alternative Medicine Programs
Excerpt: "Several of Colorado's largest health plans, including Aetna U.S. Healthcare, PacifiCare Health Systems and Cigna Healthcare, are rolling out deep discounts and unlimited access to acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors and nutritionists. Many of the health plans are also helping patients stock their medicine cabinets with everything from herbal remedies and fitness supplements to aromatherapies and tea." (Knight Ridder/Tribune)

Self-Insurance Institute of America Opposes Liability Provisions in House Patients' Rights Bill
Excerpt: "The Self-Insurance Institute of America is strongly opposing any compromise by Congress on managed care reform legislation that would threaten self-insured employers with unlimited liability in health care coverage or administrative decisions." (National Underwriter Company)

Self-Directed Health Plans Put Members In Charge
Excerpt: "New, Internet-based health benefits providers are introducing systems that could help employees play a more active role in choosing their own health benefits, consultants and plan providers say. The shift toward self-directed plans should help stabilize rising prices in the health insurance market..." (National Underwriter Company)

Hewitt Survey Predicts Double Digit Healthcare Costs in 2001

Opinion: Partial Patient Protection
Excerpt: "Sen. John Ashcroft of Missouri last week crossed party lines to become the 51st member of the Senate to support the stronger Democratic version of a patient bill of rights, similar to the package supported in the House. But without the needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, congressional leaders seemed content to let an important piece of legislation die, as they have done so often this year." (Bangor Daily News)

Tips for Buying Long-Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "Despite the harsh statistics, long-term care insurance is not for everyone, says Long. Those with enough financial resources can cover their own costs. Those with very limited resources and who can't afford the premiums will likely have to depend on the largess of family, friends or the federal government, which pays the bulk of nursing home costs through its program for the poor, Medicaid." (Associated Press)

Technology Fails to Improve Work/Life Balance, Study Finds
Excerpt: "New technology tools have neither eased the workload nor shortened the workday for many sales workers, and more and more of them are looking for ways to achieve a better work/life balance, according to a new survey." (Knight Ridder/Tribune, via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Managing Actuaryfor New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
Compliance Testing and 5500 Reporting Specialistfor U.S. Bank National Association
in MN
Senior Plan Analystfor RPS Plan Administrators
in CO
Employee Benefits Consultantfor Employee Benefits Brokerage/Consulting Firm
in NY
Defined Contribution/401 Administratorfor Berlin, Ramos & Co., CPA's, Rockville, Maryland
in DC, MD, VA

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