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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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August 14, 2002 - 6,490 subscribers
Today's sponsor: WorldatWork

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

   Our Bookstore now carries books published by WorldatWork!

   WorldatWork, the professional association for compensation, benefits and
   total rewards professionals, now has more than 30 select publications
   appearing for sale in the BenefitsLink.com bookstore. One featured 2002
   release is Long-Term Care: An Emerging Employer Benefit, a book described by
   the vice president of benefits for Time, Inc. as "the most readable
   comprehensive guide to long-term care."

(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)

Full Text of Final HIPAA Privacy Regulations (HTML format)
This is a huge document (682k filesize); BenefitsLink will post the PDF version (92 typeset pages) when we're able to get through to the official Federal Register site. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Sports Leagues Gain Relief from HIPAA Privacy Laws
Excerpt: "Buried deep in a 412-page document that will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register are a couple of paragraphs that could provide enormous relief to major sports leagues. Some players and coaches may not be so pleased, however.... [T]he final rules appear to provide wriggle room-- if not outright exclusion-- for professional sports teams, which are mentioned on Pages 50 and 51 of the document. 'Professional sports teams are unlikely to be covered entities' under the law ..." (New York Times; free registration required)

Overview: HIPAA Privacy Rules Clarified For Employer Group Health Plans (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "In this alert, we discuss some of the key amendments HHS has made to the Privacy Rule that affect employer-sponsored group health plans. We also highlight guidance in the amendment's preamble pertinent [to] group health plans." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

Commentary: Medical Records of Giraffes at Zoo Are Confidential But Yours Will 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 will soon be available to data-processing companies, researchers, pharmacists, and your insurance company-- without your consent." (insure.com)

Advocacy Group Rates Gay-Friendly Employers
Excerpt: "The Human Rights Campaign rankings were based on whether the companies had written policies banning discrimination based on sexual orientation; whether they offer workplace bias protection for sexual-identity issues, such as rules affecting transgender workers; and whether they offer health insurance coverage for same-sex partners of employees." (Washington Post)

Overview: CMS Rules Detail Requirements For Non-Federal Governmental Plans To Opt Out of HIPAA
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued interim final regulations that amend language in previous rules, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act exemption election requirements that apply to self-funded non-federal governmental plans. The interim final regulations, which were published in the July 26 Federal Register, are effective September 14. (Spencernet)

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

SHRM Workplace Forecast: a Strategic Outlook, 2002-2003 (PDF)
44 pages. Discussions include Demographic Outlook; Economic Outlook; Social Outlook; Technology Outlook; Political Outlook; International Outlook; Employment Outlook; and 'Top 10 workplace trends as seen by human resource professionals." (Society for Human Resource Management)

How Expensing of Stock Options Might Affect Your Salary
Excerpt: "As companies begin expensing options, they are almost certain to get stingier about handing them out because it will hurt their bottom line. That will have major implications for how a wide array of employees negotiate their compensation packages. What will replace stock options isn't yet clear." (StarTribune.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Client Advisors for CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services
Operations Supervisor for ICMA Retirement Corporation
in DC
Retirement Plan Consultant for Invesmart
in TX
Benefits & Compensation Tax Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers
in DC

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Guns & Hoses 2002in FL on September 22, 2002
presented by The Institute for International Research
Designing and Administering Flex Plans -- How New DOL and IRS Requirements Affect Your Planin ALL STATES on September 12, 2002
presented by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.

Newly Posted Press Releases
Standard Insurance Company Adds Documents and Plan Profile to its PlanNet(R) Retirement Plan Sponsor Web Site (Standard Insurance Company)

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)

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