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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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January 4, 2002 - 6,403 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Glasser LegalWorks

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

   You are invited to attend the nation's leading seminar on
   how recent cases affect claims, plan design and operations.

   Highlights of this year's program include:
   -Health Care Plan Litigation
   -Fiduciary Litigation
   -Preemption after Egelhoff
   -Aftermath of Pegram
   -Managed Care Litigation

   More details are available now in an online brochure:

(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay our way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Consumer Advocate Says Baby Boomers Mistakenly Believe They Can Afford Long-Term Care
Excerpt: "'Very few baby boomers' will be able to afford 'any type of long-term care should they need it,' despite their perceptions to the contrary, Charles Inlander, a consumer advocate and president of the Pennsylvania-based People's Medical Society ..." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Get Ready for New Wrinkles in Long-Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "New ideas, experts say, are needed in an industry whose products over the years have tended to be extremely expensive--and sometimes so complicated that an average person can't understand them. Another obstacle hindering its appeal to consumers: the mistaken belief among large numbers of Americans that Medicare covers nursing home and in-home medical expenses." (AARP Bulletin)

Another Question is Answered in the Cafeteria Plans Q&A Column
Company A has a health flexible spending account (health FSA) under a calendar-year cafeteria plan. About 15 of its 130 employees are being laid off on Sept. 30. Can the plan be amended to permit laid-off employees who have money remaining in their health FSA to be reimbursed for claims incurred AFTER Sept. 30 so that they can zero out their accounts before the end of the year, without having those employees elect COBRA coverage? (BenefitsLink.com)

How To Avoid a Health Insurance Claim Denial-- and What To Do When You Can't
Excerpt: "Most patients do not read the handbooks their health plans provide, according to a study by the U.S. General Accounting Office, so they're unfamiliar with the plans' requirements. Consequently, many appeals stem from ignorance." (insure.com)

Drug Discount Cards Give Small Savings, GAO Report Says
Excerpt: "Federal investigators said today that drug discount cards of the type proposed by President Bush had not significantly cut costs for elderly consumers buying brand-name medicines in metropolitan areas, where savings averaged less than 10 percent of retail prices." (New York Times; free registration required)

(Following items are in both editions of the BenefitsLink Newsletter)

IRS Publishes Further Guidance on Split-Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements; Revokes Earlier Notice
Excerpt: "Treasury and the Service intend to issue proposed regulations requiring the taxation of parties to a split-dollar life insurance arrangement under one of two mutually exclusive regimes. Under one regime, the economic benefits of a split-dollar life insurance arrangement generally are treated as transfers to the benefited party. Under the other regime, payments by the sponsor ... generally are treated as a series of loans to the benefited party." (Internal Revenue Service)

New Issue of Andersen's Alert: U.S. Compensation and Benefits News Briefs
December 17, 2001. Includes articles on personal vehicle use by auto dealership employees; guidance on Sec. 529 qualified tuition programs; additional September 11 relief for taxpayers with interests in passthrough entities; CEO gets jail time for pension embezzlement. (Andersen)

Analysis: SEC Adopts New Disclosure Requirements for Equity Compensation Plans
Excerpt: "The purpose of these amendments is to allow investors to make better-informed investment and voting decisions by improving the quality of disclosure available to investors about registrants' equity compensation plans." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

Broad-Based Stock Options at the Crossroads
Excerpt: "[T]he continuing surge in option grants has brought increasing attention to the issue of dilution. [Some firms,] under fire from institutional investors to reverse their overhang levels, are increasingly inclined to consider alternatives. This article describes three alternatives, and illustrates an approach some organizations may choose to attract and retain high-performing, high-potential people." (Aon)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Account Manager for US Bank
Administrator for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Service, Inc.
Director of Executive Compensation for Heidrick & Struggles/LeadersOnline
Investment Advisor Representative for Ceridian Benefit Services
Regional Account Manager for Market Leading Provider of Life Insurance and Retirement Plans
Regional Account Manager - Bilingual for Market Leading Provider of Life Insurance and Retirement Plans
Group Benefits Account Manager for Hylant Group, Inc.

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plansin WA on March 22, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
HIPAA & Other Federal Mandates for Group Health Plansin WA on March 21, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plansin WA on March 21, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
Cafeteria Plansin WA on March 19, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
401(k) Plansin WA on March 20, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)

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Copyright 2001 BenefitsLink.com, Inc., but you may freely distribute this email newsletter in whole. This newsletter is edited by David Rhett Baker, J.D.