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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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June 14, 2002 - 6,459 subscribers
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HHS Announces New Regs for Medicaid Beneficiaries; Protections Similar to Patients' Rights Bills
Excerpt: "The Bush administration on June 13 issued new patients' rights protections for Medicaid beneficiaries in managed-care plans, guaranteeing them a grievance process, access to a second opinion and coverage for emergency care, the Wall Street Journal reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Wall Street Journal Examines New Marketing Techniques by Drug Companies
Excerpt: "The Wall Street Journal on June 14 reports on a new type of marketing 'quietly' being used by pharmaceutical companies in which 'tailor-made ads are wrapped into the directions and warning labels' given to patients picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Vermont Governor Signs Bill Requiring Reporting of Gifts to Doctors by Drug Companies
Excerpt: "As expected, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) on June 13 signed a bill that will require pharmaceutical company representatives to publicly disclose all gifts valued at or above $25, excluding drug samples, given to doctors, hospitals and nursing homes. Vermont is the first state in the nation to pass such legislation, the Burlington Free Press reports ..." (KaiserNetwork.org)

House Democrats Unveil $800B Medicare Drug Benefit; House GOP Says Bill Too Costly
Excerpt: "As House Democrats unveiled their proposal for a $750 billion to $800 billion, 10-year Medicare prescription drug benefit on June 13, House Republicans said they will send different versions of their Medicare reform package to the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees next week, CongressDaily reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Take Your Dog to Work Day Is June 21
Excerpt: "As thousands of companies prepare to participate in the fourth annual Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21, the San Francisco SPCA is encouraging employers to adopt pet-friendly policies year round." (The San Francisco Chronicle via Society for Human Resource Management)

A Fit Worker Tends to Be a Better Worker
Excerpt: "While the link between healthy workers and healthy businesses is gaining more attention, a number of wellness indicators show there's still a long way to go to combat inactivity and the myriad of health concerns it spawns." (Buffalo News via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Industry Study Charts Dental Plan Growth
Excerpt: "The number of people signed up for dental benefits is expected to grow by 11% to 194 million by 2005, according to a new industry study." (PLANSPONSOR.com)

American Benefits Council Urges Senators Not to Approve New Federally Mandated Health Coverage
Excerpt: "On the [Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions] Committee's agenda to be marked up next week, the two proposals would require employer-sponsored health care plans to cover colorectal cancer screening (S. 710) and prescription contraceptive drugs and devices (S. 104) approved by the Food and Drug Administration as well as outpatient contraceptive services." (American Benefits Council)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General
(These items appear in both editions of the BenefitsLink Newsletter)

Overview: New Guidance on Valuing Stock Options for Nonpublicly and Publicly Traded Stock
Excerpt: "The new procedure is effective June 13, 2002.... Pending further guidance, the new procedure provides that a stock option for stock that is publicly traded (that is, an option that is a compensatory stock option as defined in Rev. Proc. 98-34) will be considered properly valued if the valuation method satisfies the standard set forth in Rev. Proc. 2002-13 for stock options that are not compensatory stock options." (Tax.CCHGROUP.com)

IRS Rev. Proc. 2002-45: Expansion of Acceptable Valuation Methods for Stock Options (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "Revenue Procedure 2002-13 ... provided guidance on valuing stock options for nonpublicly traded stock and publicly traded stock for purposes of §§ 280G and 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code.... [C]ommentators have suggested that the two valuation methods [provided by that revenue procedure] do not adequately take into account all of the facts and circumstances relevant to the valuation of Compensatory Stock Options in the context of a change in ownership or control." (Internal Revenue Service)

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Company's ESPP?
Excerpt: "Your company may be offering you a great benefit that's even better than options. An employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) enables you to purchase company stock often at a discount from the market price (typically you buy the stock with payroll deductions of up to 15 percent of your paycheck; you decide how much, but there is a $25,000 annual maximum)." (myStockOptions.com; free registration required)

FreeERISA.com Now Providing Schedule C Service-Provider Information Online
Excerpt: "Schedule 'C' must be completed for plans with 100 or more participants if the plan paid $5,000 or more to any service provider. Note that if the employer paid the service provider directly (not from plan assets) then the expense does not have to be reported on Schedule C. It is important to keep this in mind as many employers pay provider fees directly." (FreeERISA.com; free registration required)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Customer Service for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA
Senior Level Consultant for The Paragon Consulting Group, Inc.
in FL
Benefit Analyst for The Paragon Consulting Group, Inc.
in FL
Human Resources Service Specialist for Colgate-Palmolive
in NY
Benefits Administration Specialist for Benefits Administration and Automation Vendor
in CA
Retirement Service Specialist for Principal Financial Group
in CA
Compliance Administrator for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN



Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Hatch-Waxman Reconsidered: How Best to Promote Prescription Drug Innovation and Affordability on June 13, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Employee Benefits: Employer Or Employee Drivenin GA on August 23, 2002
presented by AH Enterprises, Inc.



Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
Findley Davies Presents "Top Ten Worst" List to Human Resources and Pension Executives (Findley Davies, Inc.)
PBGC Moves to Protect Pensions of 6,200 at Republic Technologies International (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)


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Editor and Publisher: David Rhett Baker, J.D.