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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

November 13, 2000

Today's sponsor is UltraLink, LLC
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In Sherwin-Williams Case, Tax Court Says Investment Income of VEBA Used to Pay Costs Is UBTI (PDF)
Sherwin-Williams Company Employee Health Plan Trust, Key Trust Company of Ohio, Trustee, vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (115 T.C. 33, Nov. 9, 2000). Excerpt: "[B]ecause of the limitation prescribed by sec. 512(a)(3)(E)(i), I.R.C., in determining for each year at issue the UBTI of [the trust] under sec. 512(a)(3)(A), I.R.C., the amount of investment income at issue may not be excluded as exempt function income." (United States Tax Court)

Non-Health Care Provider that Purchased ERISA Plan Benefit Claims May Not Sue Under ERISA
Simon v. Quaker Oats Employee Benefit Plan, No. 99 C 5589 (7th Cir. Nov. 1, 2000) (unpublished order) (EBIA Weekly)

Text of Recent Court of Appeals Opinion in Case About Texas HMO Review Statute
Corporate Health Insurance Inc. vs. Texas Department Of Insurance (5th Cir. 2000) (Health Administration Responsibility Project)

7th Cir.: Denial Of Severance Benefits To Employee Who Quit Was Not Arbitrary And Capricious
Excerpt: "The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a company's denial of severance benefits to an employee who quit her job was not arbitrary and capricious. The ruling came in James v. General Motors Corporation." (Spencernet)

Latest Round of Premium Hikes Has Federal Health Insurance Enrollees Carefully Comparing Plans
(Washington Post)

Benefits of an Institutional Trustee (PDF)
Excerpt: "The trustee role is performed by an expert institution specializing in providing trust services, minimizing the possibility of inadvertent violations that could jeopardize the plan's tax-qualified status; fiduciary responsibility is shared with an organization expert in providing trust services; litigation risk is significantly reduced." (Schultz Collins Lawson Chambers)

Three-Tier Copay Systems and Consumer-centric Care
Excerpt: "Managed care is changing the practice of pharmacy, sometimes insidiously. Initially slow, the rate of change has been increasing. With the proliferation of technology, increased cost pressures, and exhaustion of efforts directed at other clinicians and services, changes in pharmacy practice have become a managed care focus." (Medscape; free registration required)

Pharmacy Benefit Managers and Unique Customer Segments: Larger Employers
Excerpt: "Employers have, over the past several decades, increasingly offered prescription drug coverage as a benefit for employees. Often, large em-ployers contract directly with pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs) for these services." (Medscape; free registration required)

Universal Coverage, Managed Care Reform Initiative Fails in Massachusetts
(Medscape; free registration required)

New Site Online is KaiserNetwork.org: Health Policy As It Happens
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Text of 1998 Texas District Court Opinion Overturning Much of the Texas HMO Review Statute
Corporate Health Insurance Inc. vs. Texas Department Of Insurance (S.D. Tex. 1998) (Health Administration Responsibility Project)

Text of Texas Statute on Review of HMO Decisions
Excerpt: "SB386 - An act relating to review of and liability for certain health care treatment decisions." (Health Administration Responsibility Project)

Republican Congress Buoys HMO Shares
(Los Angeles Times)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
An employee will be out of work on an unpaid leave of absence for more than one month, which triggers COBRA coverage according to our company policy. He would like to deduct his COBRA premiums from his last, pre-leave paycheck. Regular employee premiums are deducted on a pre-tax basis. Can an employee also have his COBRA premiums deducted on a pre-tax basis? (BenefitsLink.com)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Kiosks: The Staffers Who Never Sleep
Excerpt: "Increasingly, employers are finding they can provide superior customer service by offering employee access to kiosks that answer routine questions or handle routine transactions. The uses can include employment applications, job posting and benefits enrollment." (Employee Benefit News)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Pension Administrator/Accountantfor First Mercantile Trust Company
in TN
Consulting - Pension Actuary & Administratorsfor Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc.
in CA
Pension Administratorfor Horizon Benefit Administration
in OH
Benefits Analystfor Safeway Inc.
in CA
Senior Benefits Specialist, Design & Compliancefor Phelps Dodge Corporation
in AZ
Benefits Specialist, Health & Welfarefor Phelps Dodge Corporation
in AZ
in CT, MA
Manager, Compensation and Payroll Systems Developmentfor Merck & Co., Inc.
in NJ

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