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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

December 8, 2000

Today's sponsor is 2e Corporation (click on banner for more information)
(Would your company like to sponsor an issue?)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
A qualified beneficiary (QB) wrote a check to the plan for the entire COBRA premium. When the check was sent through the banking system, the check was rejected for insufficient funds. The QB failed to correct the situation before the end of the regular 30-day grace period, even though he was notified of the insufficient funds problem with one week to go in the grace period. Do we have to allow him any additional time to pay for that coverage? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
A qualified beneficiary (QB) has paid the entire COBRA premium for the month of October by Oct. 1. On Oct. 15, the QB would like to revoke the coverage on a prospective basis and receive a refund of the premium portion attributable to the balance of the month. Do I have to provide a partial refund of the COBRA premium in these circumstances? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
What are the tax and other implication, if any, if any employer decides to offer continuation coverage beyond the maximum period required under COBRA? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the COBRA Q&A Column
I understand that a qualified beneficiary (QB) is an individual (employee, spouse and dependent child) covered by the employer's group health plan on the day before the qualifying event occurs. Assuming that a Section 125 plan is required to offer a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) under COBRA, are there "QBs" other than the employee-participant? (BenefitsLink.com)

ERISA's Reach Limited to United States, so Canadian's State Law Claims Against ERISA Plan Stand
Excerpt: "Because ERISA's preemptive scope did not extend outside of the United States, a federal district court ruled that a Canadian physician who treated an American citizen in Canada could pursue state law misrepresentation claims against a Pennsylvania-based group health plan." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Evaluating Job Offers? Don't Overlook Relocation Benefits
(Financial Finesse)

Ford Expands Computer Program to Dealers' Employees
Excerpt: "Ford Motor Co. on Thursday boosted its efforts to create an online-savvy work force, expanding its offer of free personal computers and Internet access for $19.95 a month to up to 286,000 employees at its U.S. Ford division and Lincoln Mercury dealers." (Reuters via Excite! News)

Analysts Say Passage of Patients' Bill of Rights Grows More Likely
Excerpt: "Prudential Securities research analysts Barbara Dreyfuss and David Shove said on Wednesday that passage next year of highly contentious Patients' Bill of Rights legislation that allows patients to sue their health plans was growing more likely." (Reuters via Excite! News)

NJ Health Insurance Bill Would Mandate Coverage for Prescription Contraceptives
(Bergen [N.J.] Record)

Graef Crystal: Hewlett-Packard Lives Down to Fiorina's Outlook
Excerpt: "Forget about the $3 million signing bonus she received. That was a mere bagatelle. Think instead about the walking-in-the-door gift of free shares, valued at $65.6 million on the day they were granted. That grant was almost 21 times larger than the largest given to her predecessor, Lewis Platt, from 1993 onward." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Stock Option Fundamentals: Vesting and Expiration (Second In a Series)
Excerpt: "When the options do vest, as explained in my first article and demonstrated by the Alternative Investment Comparison Modeling Tool on myStockOptions.com, it's usually wise to refrain from immediately exercising the stock options and selling the shares, because of their tax deferred earning potential over time." (MyStockOptions.com; free registration required)

Ten Ideas For Year-End Stock Option Financial Planning
Excerpt: "You are doing some year-end tax planning with your stock options and company stock. While investment objectives, not tax considerations, should generally drive your decisions, here are ten ideas to review before year-end to make sure you aren�t paying more taxes than necessary." (MyStockOptions.com; free registration required)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Benefit Assistantfor Buck Consultants
in NJ
Associate Product Managerfor Salomon Smith Barney
in NY
ESOP Plan Administration Recordkeeperfor RSM McGladrey, Inc.
in IA, MN
Administrative Consultantfor PenSys, Inc.
in CA
Director of Client Servicesfor Universal Pensions, Inc.
in MN

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