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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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May 8, 2002 - 6,424 subscribers
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California Justices To Consider Case of Age-Linked Job Benefit
Excerpt: "[T]he California Supreme Court ... is scheduled to hear arguments about a potentially far-reaching workplace issue this week -- whether employers can treat workers over 40 differently from younger employees when it comes to on-the-job perks and benefits. The decision could have an effect on stock options, vacation pay, sick time and other benefits that cost-cutting employers are increasingly relying on as creative alternatives to raises and promotions." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Independent Review of HMOs' Treatment Decisions Generally Benefits Texas Residents, Study Indicates
Excerpt: "More than half of all Texans who appeal an HMO's decision to deny coverage for a certain health service are at least somewhat successful, but many residents do not use the independent review process, a study released May 7 by Consumers Union of Texas indicates." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Democrats Propose Tax Break Limits for Prescription Drug Advertising
Excerpt: "Democrats contend the bill will somehow trickle down to cut drug costs, which rose 17 percent last year, the fourth consecutive year of increases. Currently, drug companies can deduct expenses for advertising as well as for research costs. The bill would limit the amount companies can deduct for advertising, promoting or marketing to the amount deducted for research and development expenditures." (AP via New York Times; free registration required)

Court Implies That Certain Monetary Damages May Be Recoverable Under ERISA
Excerpt: "[A] federal district court in Texas ruled that although a plan participant is deceased and never received treatment for a denied benefit, his estate may pursue a claim to recover the monetary value of that treatment under ERISA." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Congress Should Approve Schumer-McCain Generic Drug Bill, Los Angeles Times Editorial Recommends
Excerpt: "Congress should pass a bill (S 812), sponsored by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), that would close '[l]oopholes in U.S. law' that allow drug manufacturers to file lawsuits against generic competitors and subsequently receive 30-month patent extensions, a Los Angeles Times editorial states." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Commentary: Giraffe's Medical Records Are Confidential But Yours May Soon Be Up For Grabs
Excerpt: "Medical records of panda bears, pachyderms, and other popular animals at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., are confidential but your medical records may soon be available to your employer, bank, drug marketers, and your insurance company-- just for the asking." (insure.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
401(K) Customer Service Technical Representative for Pentegra Group
in NY
Pension Benefit Consultant for MetLife/New England Financial
in MA

Newly Posted Press Releases
John Hancock Funds and ExpertPlan Introduce T(k)O (ExpertPlan)
Study of Retirement Services Intermediaries Analyzes Provider Satisfaction (Search401k)

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.