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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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January 24, 2002 - 6,390 subscribers
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The Sad History of Health Care Cost Containment As Told in One Chart
Excerpt: "What the analysis of private health spending reported in Exhibit 1 shows is that no approach our nation has tried, over the past thirty-five years, to control health costs has had a lasting impact." (Health Affairs)

Opinion: Refundable Health Tax Credits for Displaced Workers Is Bad Policy
Excerpt: "The politics of this health care issue are fairly simple. After the September 11 terrorist attacks pushed the economy into a deeper recession, both major political parties sought to express their compassion for workers who lost their jobs and found their health-insurance coverage in jeopardy. They also hoped to score some points that might advance their respective health-policy agendas." (Tom Miller of the Cato Institute, published by National Review)

Overweight Persons Face Challenges in Obtaining Needed Healthcare Coverage at Work
Excerpt: "Excess weight and obesity are the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.... Overweight and obese individuals face employment challenges in two main areas: health care coverage and size-based bias ... Employers are encouraged to learn the direct and indirect costs of obesity and the return-on-investment (ROI) data for worksite obesity prevention and treatment strategies." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Opinion: Health Insurance in Hawaii is Not Paradise
Excerpt: "Health care in Hawaii is a mess, says Greg Scandlen. Hawaii has a waiver from ERISA, the federal law governing most employer-sponsored health plans, that allows the state to mandate employer-provided health insurance coverage. The state's 'Prepaid Health Care Act' requires that workers pay no more than 1.5 percent of their wages for their share of the cost of coverage." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Long-Term Care Insurance Is a Great Safety Net
Excerpt: "Medicaid is not the only option to pay for long-term care. Many have chosen to buy insurance as a way of covering their costs for medical care and long-term care. Good long-term care insurance policies may cover all or most of nursing home care, assisted-living care, adult day care or home care." ([Lancaster, Pa.] Intelligencer Journal via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Associated Systems, Inc.
Excerpt: "'COMPLETE' Health Benefits Administration System. It's the dashes between, Claims Adjudication-Billing-Administration-Accounting, that count. Utilizing VB and SQL2000 the dashes tie it all together to put your business on the cutting edge. See what we can do for you and your choice will be simple."

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

Overview: SEC To Require Increased Disclosure of Options and Other Equity Compensation
Excerpt: "In response to ongoing investor concerns, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously last month to expand the required disclosure of employee stock option plans and other equity compensation arrangements.... Under the new rules, domestic registrants must provide detailed information about their equity compensation plans in new tables in their annual reports on Forms 10-K and 10-KSB." (Pillsbury Winthrop LLP)

IRS Issues Final Intermediate Sanction Rule
Excerpt: "Not-for-profit hospital executives and board members should pay closer attention to Internal Revenue Service regulations ... establishing 'intermediate sanctions' for certain violations of tax-exemption rules. Otherwise, executives and board members may end up reaching into their own pockets to pay excise taxes levied for excessive compensation deals that they approved, tax lawyers and compensation consultants said." (Modern Healthcare)

A Fresh Start for Split Dollar
Excerpt: "In Notice 2002-8, the IRS gives renewed life to split-dollar life insurance, revoking its controversial pronouncement from last year, Notice 2001-10. This alert reviews key features of the new notice and spotlights important opportunities that end on or before January 28, 2002. It closes by noting issues that still are not addressed." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

IRS To Upgrade Split-Dollar Insurance Rules; Policies Before Jan. 28, 2002, Are Grandfathered
The Internal Revenue Service is upgrading its rulemaking on taxation of split-dollar life insurance programs from the form of notices in the Internal Revenue Bulletin to regulations within the Code of Federal Regulations. In Notice 2002-8, I.R.B. 2002-4, the IRS announced that it has revoked Notice 2001-10, I.R.B. 2001-5, 459, and intends to issue proposed regulations on split-dollar life insurance. (Spencernet)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension Administrator for PFS
Pension Administrator for The Washington Pension Center
Manager, Health and Welfare Plans for Snap-on Incorporated
Director, Retirement Consulting Practice for Charles W. Cammack Associates, Inc.
SVP, Investment Client Services for CitiStreet - A State Street & Citigroup Company
Business Analyst for CNA TRUST
Benefits Accounting Supervisor for Leprino Foods Company

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
2003 Summer Conferencein CA on July 27, 2003
presented by ASPA
2002 Mid-Atlantic Benefits Conferencein MD on May 16, 2002
presented by ASPA

Newly Posted Press Releases
Governmental Plans Answer Book now available (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)

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.