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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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January 21, 2002 - 6,390 subscribers
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Ex-Enron Employees Seek Severance Pay
Excerpt: "Nearly 200 former Enron Corp. workers have united to demand severance pay from the bankrupt energy giant that abruptly laid them off last month." (New York Times; free registration required)

Analysis: HIPAA Electronic Transaction Standards Regulation
Excerpt: "On December 27, 2001, President Bush signed into law the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act of 2001, extends the deadline for compliance with the EDI standards by one year. The law conditions this extension upon the filing with HHS of a compliance plan by October 16, 2002.... The following is a summary of the final electronic transaction and uniform code set requirements." (Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP)

Software Vendor Publishes Online Flowchart of Cafeteria Plan Change of Status Rules
Excerpt: "How can you know what change-of-status actions you qualify for under the law? By using our simple, three-step tool!" (DataPath, Inc.)

ERISA Participant May Sue for Interest on Benefit Payments That Are Improperly Delayed
Dunnigan v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. (2d Cir. 2002). Excerpt: "Joining the Seventh and Third Circuits, the Second Circuit in this decision holds that an ERISA participant may sue to recover interest on benefits that are late (i.e., paid after the time the participant is entitled to receive them under the terms of the plan). Under the long-term disability plan in this case, it took a participant almost five years to convince the insurer that she was disabled and therefore entitled to benefits." (EBIA Weekly)

Individuals Wrongly Denied Coverage Under ERISA Plan Are Entitled to Reinstatement and Benefits
LaRocca v. Borden, Inc. (1st Cir. 2002). Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: When employees or dependents are improperly denied coverage under an ERISA plan, the plan sponsor may be liable to add them to the plan (through the remedy of reinstatement) and may be liable to reimburse plan benefits on a retroactive basis. And this may be true even if the plan is insured, with the result that the employer and not the insurance company may be liable for the retroactive benefits ..." (EBIA Weekly)

Health Plan May Pursue ERISA Reimbursement Action If Plan Participant Still Has Control of Funds
Excerpt: "In the first reported case on ERISA subrogation and reimbursement since the Supreme Court's January 8, 2002 decision in the Great-West case, a federal district court in Chicago has ruled that Great-West does not preclude a health plan's ERISA reimbursement action when the plan sues a plan participant who still has control over recovered amounts to which the plan asserts a right." (EBIA Weekly)

Court Order Establishes "Premium Holiday" For Participants In Firm's Life Insurance Plan
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ordered Premark International of Deerfield, Ill., to provide supplemental life insurance coverage under its group health plan at no cost to eligible participants. The order was entered in Chao v. Premark International, Inc. (Civil Action No. 99 C 8489). (Spencernet)

Networks Keep Firms Connected with Ex-Employees
Excerpt: "Informal alumni networks, many established by former employees who wanted to stay in touch, share job leads or commiserate after a layoff, have blossomed on the Web. Now major corporations like Agilent are starting networks of their own." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Georgia Joins Assault On Employers Mutual Over Unlicensed Health Insurance Sales
Excerpt: "According to Georgia insurance regulators, Employers Mutual marketed health plans under the guise of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which allows health plans for trade organizations to be set up without state supervision and oversight. Employers Mutual [allegedly] set up no fewer than 16 fictitious associations ..." (insure.com)

Rising Costs Overshadow Rights of Patients In Health Care Debate
Excerpt: "Two new studies give business lobbyists more ammunition in their battle to convince Congress that the rising cost of health care is a more pressing issue than giving patients the right to sue their HMOs." (Houston Business Journal)

Summary: Education Needed About Health Benefits; Informed Choices Problematic for DC Health Plans
Excerpt: "Understanding the differences in coverage, enrollment options, and the possible financial consequences of failing to plan adequately for health care can be difficult for anyone, but they are incomprehensible to the estimated 42-90 million Americans with low functional literacy." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Pre-Paid Legal Services
Excerpt: "What if you had access to an attorney 24hrs. a day, 7 days a week, with a toll free # you can call from anywhere in the USA or Canada? For less than the price of a cup of coffee a day you'll get; Unlimited phone consultation, Attorney letters and phone calls on your behalf, Document review, Will preparation, Moving traffic representation, Help with consumer complaints, Help with credit problems, Trial defense service, Pre-trial services, IRS audit services...and more"




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension/401(k) Administrator for Cache Pension Services, Inc.
in
AK, NV
Benefits Manager for International Industrial Manufacturer
in
IL
Benefits & Compensation Tax Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers
in
DC, PA
Employment Paralegal Needed In DC!!! for TEN - The Employment Network, Inc.
in
DC



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Hot Topics Update Seminarin FL on June 12, 2002
presented by SunGard Corbel
Emerging Health Benefit Solutionsin MA on February 28, 2002
presented by Greater Boston Chapter Internatl Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists
Overview of Current Legal Decisionsin MA on April 22, 2002
presented by Greater Boston Chapter, Interntl Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists
Fundamentals of Retirement Plansin MA on May 16, 2002
presented by Greater Boston Chapter, International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists



Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
HEALTH CARE AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS E-PROCUREMENT FIRM IE-ENGINE NAMES FORMER ARIBA EXECUTIVE AS PRESIDENT (IE-Engine Inc.)
HEALTH CARE AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS E-PROCUREMENT FIRM IE-ENGINE NAMES FORMER CISCO EXECUTIVE AS VP SALES (IE-Engine Inc.)

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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.