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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

November 3, 2000
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Genomics and Managed Care: Preparing for the Revolution
Excerpt: "Health plans, providers, consumers, employers, and policymakers will need to work together to promote fairness, protect privacy, and ensure that high-quality, cost-effective new technologies are available to those who will truly benefit from them." (Medscape; free registration required)

Buying Group Health Insurance Online
Excerpt: "Small businesses are the perfect online insurance customer: wired and Internet-savvy. But only recently have 20 million American small businesses gotten the online attention they deserve, with several new Web sites offering online quotes and applications for small-group health insurance." (insure.com)

Principal Now Providing Internet-Based Quotes for Group Single Premium Contracts
(Yahoo! Finance)

Fitness (health) club's membership fee OK to reimburse under a cafeteria plan?

The Claim File: "Exhibit A" in Bad Faith Litigation
Excerpt: "Because there is an almost infinite spectrum of potential bad faith theories, every claim is susceptible to becoming a bad faith claim, with the attendant extra-contractual and punitive damages exposures. However, many bad faith actions are filed initially for the purpose of obtaining discovery of the claim file, and only after the claim file is produced is a decision made by the plaintiff whether to aggressively pursue the bad faith claim." (Claims magazine)

21 Fresh Benefit Suggestions To Try
Excerpt: "Here are selected highlights of respondents' leading-edge tips and strategies:" (Law Office Management & Administration Report, via 401kExchange.com)

Top 25 Clues That Your Health Plan is Substandard
Excerpt: "The insurance forms come pre-stamped 'Not Approved.'" (Dilbert.com)

How to Choose an Agent or Broker for Group Health Insurance

GM, DaimlerChrysler Offer Employees AOL Service, Portal

Democrats and Republicans Spar Over Patients' Rights, But Bill Is Probably Dead for the Year
Excerpt: "On Thursday House Republicans vowed to keep working on legislation to extend protections to patients in managed care plans, but Democrats and Senate Republicans both declared the debate dead for the year." (Medscape; free registration required)

Text of Massachusetts' Question 5 on Universal Health Care Coverage
Excerpt: "There shall be established a patient-centered system of health care that will ensure comprehensive, high quality care and health coverage for all residents of the commonwealth, to be in effect no later than July first, 2002." (Boston.com)

On Massachusetts' Question 5, Money Isn't Everything
Excerpt: "[T]he HMOs' television ads aren't lighting any fires. They may actually be counterproductive. To many voters, vexed by the managed care industry's inability to control costs, HMO arguments that Question 5 will create red tape and new government bureaucracies may sound like a good idea. In other words, if the HMOs can't fix it, let government take a shot." (Boston.com)

Kerry Calls Massachusetts Universal Health Care Proposal 'Troubling'
Excerpt: "U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry called a proposal to bring about universal health care in Massachusetts 'troubling,' exposing a rift with U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the state's senior senator." (Boston.com)

Declining Employer Contributions to Benefits
Excerpt: "Whereas benefits grew 1.1% annually in the 1980s and 0.4% annually in the early 1990s, they actually fell 2.1% each year in the 1995-99 period." (Electronic Policy Network)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Social Security: Apply Online
Excerpt: "Instead of long waits at a Social Security office, seniors with access to the Internet can now apply for their retirement benefits online, federal officials say. With this new process, which started Thursday, Net-ready seniors likely will never have to stand in line to get their Social Security benefits, said William Halter, the agency's deputy commissioner." (New York Times; free registration required)

Graef Crystal: Paine Webber's Marron Sure to Win in U.S. Vote
Excerpt: "Tuesday's U.S. presidential election looks like a win-win situation for Donald Marron, Paine Webber Group Inc.'s chief executive. If Texas Governor George W. Bush captures the White House, Marron has a shot at becoming the next Treasury Secretary. Taking the job would entitle him to more than $115 million in 'have a great time' payments from UBS AG, the Swiss company that's about to acquire Paine Webber." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Senate to Act on Pension and Tax Bill in Lame-Duck Session After Next Week's Elections
Excerpt: "The U.S. Senate will likely take up a $240 billion tax cut bill that would allow bigger contributions to retirement accounts when Congress returns for a lame-luck session after the Nov. 7 elections, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said Wednesday." (Reuters via Excite! News)

House Speaker Rules Out Vote On Export Bill Unless Tax and Pension Bill Is Included
Excerpt: "House Speaker Dennis Hastert ruled out an immediate vote on an export tax bill sought by business unless it remains attached to a larger tax-cut measure that would benefit millions of individual taxpayers. Hastert, R-Ill., issued a statement Thursday defending his decision not to accept Senate-passed legislation that would replace the U.S. Foreign Sales Corporation law, already deemed an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization." (Associated Press, via Yahoo!)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Associate Attorney for Law Firmfor McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe LLP
in NC
401(k) Plan Administratorfor Pension Design Services, Inc.
in NH
Jr Benefit Analystsfor Administrative Management Group
in IL
Defined Contribution Analystfor Administrative Management Group
in IL
Recordkeeping Team Leaderfor INVESCO Retirement Plan Services
in GA
Manager, North American Human Resources - Benefits & General HRfor US Holding Company International Sports Car Manufacturer & Distributor
in IL

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