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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

November 15, 2000

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Insurers Cook Up Their Own System to Ward Off WebMD
Excerpt: "In one of the sharpest challenges to Internet-based health company WebMD, seven major health insurance companies have formally outlined their plans to provide a Web-based transaction system to speed the movement of paperwork among physicians, insurers and hospitals." (CNET.com)

Providing Employee Sign-On Loans
November 2000. Excerpt: "In this month's Executive Compensation Corner, Judy Alden considers a recent IRS Technical Advice Memorandum holding that a loan related to employment caused the employee to recognize compensatory income immediately but delayed the employer's deduction." (PricewaterhouseCoopers Tax News Network)

PBS Morning Edition: OSHA Issues Ergonomics Regs (Real Audio File)
Requires RealPlayer or other software that will play ".ram" files -- see www.real.com for a free downloadable version of RealPlayer. (PBS)

The Working Poor
Excerpt: "Beware the employee who appears to be taking care of business while financial burdens are eating him alive.... The ultimate responsibility for handling personal finances rests, of course, with employees themselves. But experts interviewed for this article agreed that companies can and should influence workers´┐Ż financial behavior in three ways ..." (Human Resource Executive)

Federal Employees: Check Out Those Changes Before Sticking With the Health Plan
Excerpt: "Because overall premiums in the federal health program are increasing again, the Office of Personnel Management urges every employee and retiree to spend a few minutes reviewing the section titled 'How We Change for 2001' in health plan brochures. The information could prove crucial to employees and retirees as they make health insurance decisions during the 'open season' for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which began yesterday and runs through Dec. 11." (Washington Post)

FDA Approval of Mifepristone (RU-486); Health Plan Sponsors Might Wish to Address Coverage Issues
Excerpt: "Mifepristone will be marketed in the U.S. by Danco Laboratories LLC, under the name Mifeprex. Mifeprex is also known as 'the early abortion pill,' a 'medical abortion' or the 'early option pill.' With the introduction of Mifeprex in the U.S., a new class of drugs is now formed, called abortifacients." (The Segal Company)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

The Duty To Inform And Fiduciary Breaches: The "New Frontier" In ERISA Litigation
(Howard Shapiro and Robert Rachal of McCalla Thompson LLP)

3d Cir. Uses "Duty to Inform" Theory to Eviscerate Plan Administrator's Ability To Intepret Plan
Excerpt: "In Harte v. Bethlehem Steel Corp. ... the court addressed a familiar fact pattern: A plan administrator's interpretation of an ambiguous plan provision resulted in the denial of benefits.... But then [the court] applied a fiduciary 'duty to inform' rationale to conclude the plan administrator may have breached a duty to inform the participant of this interpretation in time for the participant to act." (Robert Rachal, Esq. of McCalla Thompson LLP)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Pension Consultantfor Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc.
in CA
Benefits Associatefor Black Mountain Management
in NY
401(k)/Retirement Plan Administratorfor Stephen Eldridge & Company, Inc.
in NH
Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administratorfor AAS Pension Services - American Express Tax & Business Services
in AZ
Assistant to Administratorfor The Senex Group
in CA
Qualified Plan Administratorfor The Senex Group
in CA
Retirement Plan Actuaryfor Bolton Offutt Donovan, Inc.
in DC, MD
Financial Analystfor Bolton Offutt Donovan, Inc.
in DC, MD
Health Benefits Underwritersfor Bolton Offutt Donovan, Inc.
in DC, MD
Marketing Executivefor Bolton Offutt Donovan, Inc.
in DC
Employee Benefits Supervisorfor AMETEK is a leading global manufacturer
in PA
Defined Contribution Benefit Specialist Team Leaderfor CitiStreet: Total Benefits Outsourcing
in FL
Savings & Retirement Plans Analystfor Pharmacia Corporation
in NJ
Manager, Savings Plusfor Pharmacia Corporation
in NJ

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