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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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March 8, 2002 - 6,505 subscribers
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House Passes Stimulus Bill, No Health Provisions for Uninsured
Excerpt: "The AFL-CIO, usually a stalwart Democratic ally, said it was 'profoundly disappointed' that the legislation failed to boost health coverage for the unemployed." (Washington Post)

New Rules for Managing Health Costs: Highlights from the Seventh Annual WBGH/Watson Wyatt Survey
Excerpt: "There are four key findings from this year's survey: Health care has become a total business issue. No single solution will fix the problem. Employers need to get employees more involved in their health care needs and costs. To successfully manage costs, companies need to apply the same business discipline they apply in their core business functions." (Watson Wyatt)

Survey Results: What Are You Doing To Control Health Plan Costs In 2002?
Excerpt: "Review employer responses to questions about changes to cost-sharing arrangements, funding alternatives, disease management techniques, wellness programs, scope of coverages, cash opt-out options and managed care." (Aon)

Statement of President Bush In Support of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2002
Excerpt: "The bill provides strong protections against genetic discrimination that are fair, reasonable, and consistent with existing laws. I look forward to working with Congress in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation ..." (White House)

Summary of Key Provisions in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2002
Bill was introduced March 6, 2002. Excerpt: "Prohibits group health plans and health insurance issuers from 1) adjusting premium or contribution amounts, or 2) establishing enrollment restrictions for the group as a whole on the basis of genetic information concerning an individual or a family member of the individual in the group (including information about a request for or receipt of genetic services)." (American Benefits Council)

American Dental Association Sues Managed Care Provider
Excerpt: "The American Dental Association (ADA) today announced that it is suing WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and its Blue Cross of California subsidiary for allegedly failing to pay actual charges for dental services. The class action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, also charges the managed care giant with libeling out-of-network dentists by telling patients that their charges were 'not customary and reasonable' ..." (Medscape)

American Benefits Council Expresses Concerns About HHS Regulations Affecting Health Plan Sponsors (PDF)
Excerpt: "The Council strongly believes that the Administration should seek federal legislation to ensure the final privacy rules can be applied on a nationally uniform basis.... In the absence of a statutory provision making these federal standards preemptive of similar state standards, the Department should publish its initial determination of which provisions of existing state laws and regulations would not be preempted by the federal rules ..." (American Benefits Council)

Screen Actors Guild Health Benefits Taking a Hit
Excerpt: "At a time of double-digit annual health-care cost increases fueled by rising spending on drugs and aggressive price hikes by doctors and hospitals, the sticker shock facing SAG members is typical of what is happening to workers around the country. Even union-negotiated health plans, with gold-plated benefits that have been taken for granted for years, are being downsized to reflect the new realities." (Los Angeles Times)

TV Ads Spur Rise in Prescription Drug Sales
Excerpt: "Television advertising, aging baby boomers and the greater use of expensive new medications drove prescription drug sales up 17.9 percent last year, a study shows." (New York Times; free registration required)

Florida House to Approve Bare-Bones Health Insurance Sales to Uninsured
Excerpt: "The Florida House is poised to approve Gov. Jeb Bush's plan to expand health coverage to thousands of uninsured Floridians by allowing low-cost health policies to be sold that don't cover mammograms, certain emergency-room care and dozens of other services that traditional insurance plans must cover.... Democrats, consumer groups and other critics consider the flex plans dangerous because they say they would lack sufficient safeguards to keep people from being defrauded." (Orlando Sentinel)

Survey: Nursing Home Costs Show Need For Long Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "The national average cost of a year in a nursing home is $54,900 annually, or $150.18 per day." (insure.com)

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


IRS Issues Long Awaited Proposed Golden Parachute Regulations (PDF)
Excerpt: "[T]he 2002 proposed regulations clarify that both non-qualified stock options and incentive stock options are payments in the nature of compensation.... [T]he IRS has issued separate guidance (Revenue Procedure 2002-13) providing several permissible valuation methods, including a 'valuation safe harbor.'" (Proskauer Rose LLP)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Consulting Associate for RSM McGladrey, Inc.
in MN
REINSURANCE MANAGER for Corporate Benefit Services of America, Inc. (CBSA)
in MN
Claims Processing Supervisor for Corporate Benefit Services of America, Inc. (CBSA)
in MN
Manager, Benefits Delivery for Lyondell Chemical Company
in TX
Employee Benefits Accountant for Cherry, Bekaert, and Holland, LLP
in VA
Benefits Manager for Twentieth Century Fox
in CA
Project/Practice Manager For Pension Law/TPA Firm for Mand Marblestone & Danziger, P.C. - Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
in PA
Associate, Benefits for Black Mountain Management, Inc.
in NY
Client Associate - Reporting & Disclosure for AEGON Group
in IA



Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Health Quality and Medical Errors on March 7, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Pension Plan Investments 2002: Confronting Today's Issuesin CA, NY on May 8, 2002
presented by Practising Law Institute



Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
New !Trak-It HR with Email and Web Connections for Fast Background Checks (!Trak-It Solutions)

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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.