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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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April 25, 2002 - 6,426 subscribers
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(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay our way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Bush Close To Endorsing Mental Health Parity Legislation
Excerpt: "President Bush is close to reaching a compromise with lawmakers to back expanded mental health parity legislation, the Washington Post reports. He plans to give a 'strong' endorsement to the idea April 29 ..." (KaiserNetwork.org)

House Measure Would Give Health Benefits to Retired Steel Workers in Certain Circumstances
Excerpt: " Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) on April 24 introduced a bill that would provide health benefits to retired steel workers in certain circumstances, but the measure received a 'less than enthusiastic welcome' from other lawmakers and steel union officials, the Baltimore Sun reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Study Puts Price on Mandated Benefits
Excerpt: "Government mandates, litigation and fraud and abuse accounted for more than one-quarter of the increase in healthcare costs in 2001, according to a study for the American Association of Health Plans." (Modern Healthcare)

Company Did Not Violate NLRA By Reducing Medical Benefits For Future Retirees: Court
A company did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it reduced medical benefits for future retirees, but the company did violate the NLRA when it reduced such retirees' life insurance benefits. This was the ruling of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Mississippi Power Company v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 00-60794). (Spencernet)

Federal Health Megaplan Seeks Innovative Solutions for Containing Health Costs
Excerpt: "Facing another year of double-digit premium increases, the health benefits program for US government workers and retirees has asked health plans for 'innovative ideas' on holding down costs.... [the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program] is the largest employer-sponsored group health insurance program in the world, serving nearly 9 million employees, annuitants and family members." (Medscape; free registration required)

Opinion: Your Medical Records May Soon Be Up For Grabs
Excerpt: "Under the proposed amendment, your doctor will still have the option of allowing you to give or withhold your consent, but ultimately you lose your power to control the information because it will be against federal regulation if your doctor refuses to hand over your records to any entity that has regulatory permission to request them." (insure.com)

Medications, New Treatments, Devices Responsible for Premium Increases in 2001, Study Says
Excerpt: "Prescription drugs, medical devices and new medical treatments were 'among the biggest contributors' to the double-digit increases in health insurance premiums between 2001 and 2002, according to a study released on April 24 by the American Association of Health Plans." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Individuals in Not-for-Profit Health Plans More Likely To Be Satisfied than Those in For-Profits
Excerpt: "Enrollees in not-for-profit HMOs are more likely to be 'very satisfied' with their care than those in for-profit HMOs, according to a study published in the April 25 New England Journal of Medicine." (KaiserNetwork.org)

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


Bid To Split Pension Gain From Verizon Executive Pay Defeated
Excerpt: "Verizon shareholders voted against a proposal to exclude pension gains from calculating executive compensation at the annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, but the margin of defeat narrowed considerably from last year." (Dow Jones Newswires via Yahoo! News)

Raytheon Shareholders Reject Initiative to Exclude Pension Income in Determining Stock Option Awards
Excerpt: "The rejected stockowner-submitted resolution called upon Raytheon to exclude pension income from the operating results it uses to calculate executive stock option awards.... It was defeated, with 245 million shares voted in opposition and 35 million shares voted in favor." (Boston Globe)

Overview: Final DOL Rules on Electronic Disclosure and Recordkeeping (PDF)
Excerpt: "[I]ndividual benefit statements, investment-related information, 404(c) notices, QDRO/QMCSOs notifications, plan loan information, COBRA notices, and HIPAA certificates of health care coverage may be furnished electronically." (Milliman USA)

California's New Law Restricting the use of Social Security Numbers (PDF)
Excerpt: "SB 168 prohibits ... requiring a person to transmit his or her Social Security number over the internet unless the connection is secure or the Social Security number encrypted, ... requiring a person to enter his or her Social Security number to log onto an internet site unless used in combination with a password or PIN, and ... printing Social Security numbers on materials (other than on applications or forms) mailed to a person unless required by law." (Trucker Huss)

CEOs Cash In After Tenure
Excerpt: "When it comes to executive compensation, the good times often linger on. And on. Scores of former CEOs continue to pull in fat retainers and lavish perks-- some long after retiring-- as consultants to their companies." (USA Today)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Reinsurance Manager for Corporate Benefit Services of America, Inc. (CBSA)
in MN
Business Support Manager for ING Aetna Financial Services
in CT
Account Administrator II for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN
Business Support Specialist for ING U.S. Financial Services
in CT
Defined Contribution Plan Administrator for USI Consulting Group
in NY
Director-Compensation for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN
Sr. Compensation Analyst/Consultant for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Estate Planning for Distributions from Qualified Plans and IRAs: Focusing on the New Final Regulations for Minimum Required Distributions under Section 401(a)(9)in ALL STATES on May 23, 2002
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education)
2nd Annual ERISA FIDUCIARY Program 2002in NY on June 17, 2002
presented by Glasser Legal Works
2nd Annual ERISA FIDUCIARY Program 2002in CA on June 21, 2002
presented by Glasser Legal Works
The Future of 401k'sin FL on May 9, 2002
presented by Jacksonville Chapter of WEB
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Albanyin NY on August 13, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Albuquerquein NM on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Allentownin PA on July 9, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Anaheimin CA on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Austinin TX on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Bostonin MA on August 26, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Buffaloin NY on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Cincinnatiin OH on August 13, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Clevelandin OH on August 20, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Columbusin OH on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Dallasin TX on July 30, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Denverin CO on August 26, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Harrisburgin PA on July 16, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Hartfordin CT on July 9, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Houstonin TX on July 23, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Jacksonvillein FL on August 26, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Kansas Cityin MO on July 9, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Long Islandin NY on July 16, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - New Yorkin NY on July 30, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Orlandoin FL on August 20, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Parsippanyin NJ on July 23, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Pasadenain CA on August 20, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Philadelphiain PA on July 30, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Phoenixin AZ on August 26, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Pittsburghin PA on August 13, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Providencein RI on August 13, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Sacramentoin CA on July 30, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Salt Lake Cityin UT on August 13, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - San Antonioin TX on August 26, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - San Josein CA on July 23, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Scrantonin PA on July 23, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Shreveportin LA on July 16, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - St. Louisin MO on July 30, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Syracusein NY on August 20, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Tampain FL on August 6, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Wichitain KS on July 16, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Wilmingtonin DE on July 16, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company



Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
Torrid Technologies Releases College Savings Planner, the Latest Addition to its WebCalcs Financial Calculators Suite (Torrid Technologies)
Freddie Mac Offers Online Benefit Portfolios - Mortgage Giant's Employees Access Total Compensation i-Statements for Second Year (Benefit Software Inc.)

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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.