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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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February 25, 2002 - 6,505 subscribers
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Do the HIPAA Privacy Rules Apply to the Sponsor of a Fully-Insured Group Health Plan?
Excerpt: "If a group health plan provides health benefits only through an insurance contract and does not create, maintain, or receive protected health information (PHI), the vast majority of administrative burdens imposed by the HIPAA privacy rules do not apply to the plan or the plan sponsor." (EBIA Weekly)

Insurers Boost Individual Coverage Plans as Small Employers Drop Group Coverage
Excerpt: "The rush by insurers to sell individual policies is providing some relief to many workers who have lost group coverage. But it's only a stopgap to the real problem, business leaders said, because the same thing that makes the individual plans profitable will still leave many others without insurance -- exclusivity." (Cincinnati Business Courier via bizjournals.com; free registration required)

Updated URL: Funds Must Be in the Control of the Defendant in Order to Pursue a Reimbursement Claim
Excerpt: "The Knudson decision should not be viewed as a loss, but like a 'sacrifice' in baseball, where a single out places runners in a better scoring position for upcoming batters. Knudson clarifies that, even in the Ninth Circuit, a plan may now pursue a reimbursement action in federal court as long as the funds are in the control of a defendant in the federal court lawsuit, which is much more than we had in the Ninth Circuit before Knudson." (Attorney Thomas H. Lawrence)

Analysis: California HMO Regulator Barred from Forcing Coverage for Drug Not in HMO's Formulary
Excerpt: "After hearing the arguments from both sides, a state court judge issued a preliminary injunction on Jan. 15, 2002, barring DMHC from enforcing any section of the Knox Keene Act or any regulation (including the regulation at issue in the case) that mandates coverage of outpatient prescription drugs -- absent a specific statutory mandate ..." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Former Employee's Claim For LTD Benefits Was Barred By Statute of Limitations: Court
A terminated employee's request that his former employer reopen his case for long term disability benefits, which was submitted more than two-and-one-half years after the employee's termination, was barred by the statute of limitations. This was the ruling of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Stafford v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company (No. 01-1289). (Spencernet)

Foundation Rolls Out Website: "CoveringTheUninsured.com"
Excerpt: "Covering the Uninsured is a national campaign of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and twelve major national organizations to raise awareness of the challenges facing the 39 million Americans with no health insurance. The campaign represents business, labor, doctors, nurses, hospitals, health care consumers and other Americans." (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Now Online: Webcast Recording of PBS Series on Healthcare Reform
Six half-hour talk shows from the syndicated public television program, The Open Mind, funded by The Commonwealth Fund. (The Commonwealth Fund via KaiserNetwork.org)

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

Company Decides to Determine Executive Pay Without Regard to Company's Pension Income
Excerpt: "In what appears to be a first, McDermott International Inc. agreed to determine compensation for senior executives without regard to any income generated by its pension plan, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.... Amalgamated Bank, which filed the resolution, noted that pension income is contributing to the bottom line of many large companies and, in turn, boosting executive pay that is based on earnings." (Dow Jones via Yahoo! News)

Split Dollar Arrangements for Executives Appear to Get Support Under Bush
Excerpt: "Despite criticism over how top Enron Corp. officials were able to protect their special executive pensions while other employees saw retirement savings devastated, tax consultants say the Bush administration has softened proposed new rules, which will allow top executives to continue sheltering billions of dollars in pension savings, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday." (Dow Jones via Yahoo! News)

Laid-off, Retired LTV Workers Feel Bite of Globalization
Excerpt: "A rally [Saturday, February 23] in Virginia, Minn., will start a week of events organized to call attention to the loss of jobs, pensions and health insurance by a growing number of workers in the iron-ore and steel industries." (StarTribune.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Documentation Compliance Specialist-LLY for Management Recruiters of Portland
Benefits Analyst I for GreenPoint Financial Corp.
Retirement Plan Consultant for Invesmart
Plan Administrator for LBA Retirement Plan Services, LLC
Employee Benefits Account Executive for Roller Consulting Co., Inc.
Client Services Consultant for American United Life Insurance Company

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
When the DOL Knocks At Your Doorin CA on March 21, 2002
presented by Western Pension and Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter
Managing Your Retirement Program in These Changing Timesin MD on March 21, 2002
presented by The Baltimore Chapter of ISCEBS
2002 ICI/SIA Retirement Savings Conference & Exhibitin DC on April 28, 2002
presented by Investment Company Institute and Securities Industry Association

Newly Posted Press Releases
vSimplify Hires New VP Sales, and New Client Services Expert (vSimplify)

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)

Copyright 2002 BenefitsLink.com, Inc., but you may freely distribute this email newsletter in whole. This newsletter is edited by David Rhett Baker, J.D.