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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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April 11, 2002 - 6,439 subscribers
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Union Complains Disabled Persons May Be Left Out of Federal Government Long-Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "Disabled federal workers could be excluded from the federal government's new long-term care insurance program, according to a local branch of the American Federation of Government Employees.... [LTC Chief Executive Officer Paul Forte] testified that the federal long-term care program is not intended for people who already need care or will need care immediately after enrolling in the program. Adding those people to the program would significantly raise program rates, he said." (GovExec.com)

Links to Written Statements to Senate Committee Hearing on Federal Employees' Long-Term Care Program
Excerpt: "This hearing will examine the merits of long-term care insurance, the products offered to federal employees, and the Office of Personnel Management's consumer education and outreach efforts.' Includes statements of Senator John Breaux; Senator Larry Craig; Bertram Scott, TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company; Frolly Boyd, Aetna, Inc.; Frank Titus, U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Paul Forte, Long Term Care Partners, LLC. (U.S. Senate, Special Committee on Aging)

Massachusetts Senate To Consider Legislation Allowing Patients To Sue Health Plans
Excerpt: "Massachusetts insurance companies, employers and advocates are 'gearing up' for a state Senate vote on a bill that would give patients the right to sue their health plans for denial of treatment coverage, the Springfield Union-News reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

In Indiana, Health Insurers Must Open Up Claims Data To Smaller Employer Customers
Excerpt: "The Indiana Department of Insurance has broadened the rule requiring insurers to share claims data on group health plans with the employers that pay for them. Small businesses that buy insurance for as few as two employees now have the right to get claims data from the insurer or managed-care company. Previously the law required the data to be shared with employers only if they had 50 or more workers." (The Indianapolis Star)

Academic Paper: Why Did Employee Health Insurance Contributions Rise?
Working paper, April 2002. SSRN.com charges $5 to download. Excerpt: "We explore the causes of the dramatic rise in employee contributions to health insurance over the past two decades. In 1982, 44% of those who were covered by their employer-provided health insurance had their costs fully financed by their employer, but by 1998 this had fallen to 28%." (National Bureau of Economic Research)

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

April 2, 2002 Issue of Andersen's Alert: U.S. Compensation and Benefits News Briefs (PDF)
Articles include U.S.-Canada Income Tax Convention and pensions; suggestions requested for Treasury/IRS FY 2002-2003 Guidance Priority List; cases on late COBRA notices, COBRA after plan cancellation, QDROs and welfare benefits, TPA audit report as legal work product, dismissal of ERISA claim, COBRA procedures and proof of mailing, LTD coverage on last day of employment, pension garnishment to satisfy criminal fine. (Andersen)

Proxy Advisory Firm Backs Retirees' Proposal to Exclude Pension Gains from Exec Comp Calculations
Excerpt: "Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential proxy advisory firm, is supporting a proposal submitted by a retirees' organization to exclude pension income in calculating compensation for executives of Verizon Communications.... Proposals to separate pension gains from determining executive compensation also have been submitted to shareholders of AT&T Corp., International Business Machines Corp., General Electric Co., and Qwest Communications International Inc. this year." (Dow Jones Business News via Yahoo! News)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension Administrator (Junior Level) for Slavic401k.com, Inc.
in FL
Pension Supervisor for Benefit Resources, Inc.
in CA
Employee Benefits Relationship Manager for BB&T
in NC

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Employee Benefits Law Conference 2002in NC on May 1, 2002
presented by McGuireWoods LLP
Troubleshooting the 2001 Form 5500in ALL STATES on April 25, 2002
presented by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.
2002 Spring Conferencein AZ on May 22, 2002
presented by Phoenix Chapter, Western Pension & Benefits Conference

Newly Posted Press Releases
AFS Appoints New President (American Financial Systems, Inc.)
vSimplify Introduces Voluntary Benefits (vSimplify)
Get on-line access to more than 25,000 pages of HR documentation, pay programs and personnel policies (Watson Wyatt Data Services)
Alexander Hamilton Institute Releases New Free Report - State Breast-Feeding Laws (Alexander Hamilton Institute)
New National Medical Support Notice Form Makes Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) Administration Easier (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

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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.