The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
December 1, 2000
Today's sponsor is UltraLink, Inc. (click on banner for more information)
Strain Mounts As Families Care For The Elderly
Excerpt: "The number of caregivers has increased threefold since 1987 -- and it will grow because people are living longer... Most large companies have some kind of programs to help employees with caregiving, such as support groups, helpful information and resources. But the vast majority of Americans don't work for large employers." (San Jose Mercury News)
Humor: Baby, We've Got You Covered
Excerpt: "'Tis the season for open enrollment, that glorious time of year when insured workers choose a plan that best fits their needs. In the federal government, employees have until Dec. 11 to make their selections. Every year, there are more choices and more benefits. The following comes from a brochure that crossed our desk." (Washington Post)
Maryland Issues Prompt Health Payment Rules
(Reuters via Excite! News)
Merger Forms Giant Health Insurance Lobby
Excerpt: "The Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) and the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP), two powerful health insurance associations, are merging to create one Goliath-sized lobby." (insure.com)
Health Costs Underestimated, Experts Say
Excerpt: "Health costs will grow faster than the government now assumes, partly because of advances in medical technology, and the long-term financial outlook for Medicare is therefore less rosy than officials assume, a federal advisory panel has concluded." (New York Times; free registration required)
Insurance Groups Seek to Merge in Battle Over Patients' Rights
Excerpt: "Two powerful insurance groups said today that they were trying to negotiate a merger, forming a huge lobby that would speak with one voice on legislation to define patients' rights. The merger would join the Health Insurance Association of America, which began as a lobby for traditional insurance companies, with the American Association of Health Plans, which represents health maintenance organizations and managed care companies." (New York Times; free registration required)
What Is The Real Cost of Prior Authorization for Managed Pharmacy Plans?
Excerpt: "While prior authorization helps to curb inappropriate drug use through its sentinel effects, it nonetheless continues to be a problem for all concerned. For the health plan, it is a labor-intensive and expensive process to manage... For physicians, prior authorization is seen as a threat to their diagnostic and treatment authority; to patients, it is considered interference with their right to receive the best medical care available." (Medscape; free registration required)
(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)
Treasury Semiannual Regulatory Agenda for Fiscal Year 2001 (PDF)
Find out what new regulations Treasury is planning! The latest semiannual agenda of regulations is now available online, either as a pdf version(click on the link above; looks and prints better) or a regular (HTML) Web page (easier to copy and paste from). Thanks to Carol Calhoun for suggesting the link. (Federal Register)
Department of Labor Semiannual Regulatory Agenda for Fiscal Year 2001 (PDF)
Find out what new regulations DOL is planning! The latest semiannual agenda of regulations is now available online, either as a pdf version(click on the link above; looks and prints better) or a regular (HTML) Web page (easier to copy and paste from). Thanks to Carol Calhoun for suggesting the link. (Federal Register)
Graef Crystal: GE's Immelt Might Become the $45 Million Man
Excerpt: "Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive-designate of General Electric Co., has the opportunity to become a $45 million man. That's how much money Immelt could make in his first year after taking Jack Welch's place at the world's largest publicly traded company. The total is less than Welch's $76 million pay package for 1999, but you have to start somewhere and then work your way up." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)
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