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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

November 29, 2000

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Mileage Allowance Increased for Transportation to Obtain Medical Care
Excerpt: "The IRS has announced that the standard mileage rate for use of an automobile to obtain medical care, as described in Code Section 213, will increase from $0.10 to $0.12 per mile for 2001." (EBIA Weekly)

Insurer May Bring An Action To Determine Proper Beneficiary Of Life Insurance Proceeds
Excerpt: "The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that an insurance company may bring an action in federal court to determine the proper beneficiary of an insured's life insurance proceeds. The ruling came in Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Bayona." (Spencernet)

Amended Claims Procedures Regs Impose Accelerated Deadlines For Group Health, Disability Plans
Excerpt: "The amended regulations apply to claims filed on or after January 1, 2002. For most pensions plans and welfare plans, the current time frames for processing claims remain, with minor modifications. More dramatic changes are adopted for group health plans and plans which offer disability benefits." (TRI Pension Services)

Employers Sweeten Benefits in Order to Retain Valuable Workers
Excerpt: "More companies than ever are willing to listen to the specific needs of employees ... Sometimes it's as easy as getting a local bank to install an automatic teller machine in the lobby. Other times, it takes more effort -- pooling your company with other small businesses to get cheaper rates for health insurance -- but it may be well worth it when it comes to employee retention." (Knight Ridder/Tribune)

More Employers Helping Employees With Housing
Excerpt: "In a latter-day twist on the 'company town' concept, employers across America, including some in Silicon Valley, are helping workers buy homes and pay rent in an effort to retain them and recruit new employees." (San Jose Mercury News)

How to Judge the Quality of a Health Plan
Excerpt: "For those with a choice-- most often found in larger employers-- people decide which health plan to choose based largely on two factors: price, and if your family's doctors are included. But there are other ways to judge the quality of a health plan ..." (insure.com)

New Jersey's First-in-Nation Wellness Program Mandates HMO, Insurance Coverage for Annual Physicals
Excerpt: "A new state program that went into effect this month requires HMOs and health insurance plans to provide free, comprehensive annual physicals to millions of New Jersey adults." (DrKoop.com)

Compromise Health Insurance Plan Unveiled For Covering The Uninsured
Excerpt: "The compromise plan focuses on expanding existing federal and state programs for uninsured poor adults and children. It also calls for granting new tax credits to employers to help them cover low-income workers." (insure.com)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Benefits: Hanging On To Employees
Excerpt: "Texas Instruments (TI), desperate to hold on to its electrical-engineering talent, launched a new Web-enabled, employee-retention tool last month that its workers can affectionately call 'My Financial Statement.' Issued to TI's 28,000 U.S. employees, the system offers them real-time screen profiles of their salaries, pensions, 401(k) benefits, stock options, and employee-stock-purchase plans." (CFO magazine)

New SPD regulations require information about ERISA section 404(c), QDROs, plan termination
Excerpt: "The regulations are generally effective January 20, 2001, but SPDs are not required to reflect the new regulatory requirements until the second plan year which begins after January 20, 2001 (e.g., the 2003 plan year for a plan with a plan year that begins every January 1)." (TRI Pension Services)

DOL Publishes Long-Awaited Final Rules On Claims and Appeals Procedures and SPDs
(The Segal Company)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Manager, Campaign Servicesfor New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
Defined Benefit Conversion Consultantfor American Century Investments
in MO
Defined Benefit Conversion Specialistfor American Century Investments
in MO
401(k)/DC Administratorfor Accrued Benefit Administrators, Inc.
in CA
Senior Health & Welfare Consulting Actuariesfor UNIFI Network/PricewaterhouseCoopers
in IL
Senior 401(k) Administratorfor B & Benefits Administration, Inc. in Long Beach, CA
in CA

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