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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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August 21, 2002 - 6,490 subscribers
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EEOC Issues New ADA Handbook for Small Businesses
Excerpt: "A practical, reader-friendly handbook outlining the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act is the newest publication from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 'The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Primer for Small Business' contains examples, tips, and 'do's and don'ts.'" (The Society for Human Resource Management)

Syndicated NPR Program Discusses Consumer-Driven Health Plans
Excerpt: "WAMU's 'The Diane Rehm Show,' an NPR syndicated program, on Aug. 20 included a discussion of new 'consumer-driven' health insurance policies ... Guests on the program included Deborah Chollet of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; Douglas Kronenberg, chief strategy officer for Lumenos, a 'consumer-driven' Internet health insurance provider; and Mark White, a senior health care consultant at Watson Wyatt, Inc.... The full segment is available online in RealPlayer Audio." (

Finger Pointers Can't Settle On Who's To Blame For Health Costs
Excerpt: "Insurers blame rising drug costs. Drug companies blame HMOs and hospitals. Doctors blame lawyers. And, it seems, everyone blames consumers. The problem? Health care costs are continuing their rapid rise-- averaging 13% this year and expected to be more than that next year." (USA Today)

Illinois Insurer To Pay Pharmacists Who Switch To Generics
Excerpt: "After seeing its prescription drug costs rise 26% last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois announced this week that, beginning in January, the state's biggest health insurer will pay pharmacists $1 each time they persuade customers to opt for a generic prescription." (

Sight on the Cutting Edge: New LASIK Surgery Options
Excerpt: "Even now, with many employers picking up between 10% and 25% of the tab, LASIK is still far from cheap. However, with the advent of new technologies, programs and the closer-than-ever potential for consumer-driven health plans (see article on page 1 of this issue), many employers and consumers may be casting a fresh eye at LASIK options." (

Consumer-Driven Health Plans Can Reduce Short- and Long-Term Costs: Watson Wyatt Report
An increasing number of employers are expected to adopt consumer-driven health plans as an option to help control rising health care costs. With the right design, these plans can successfully reduce both short- and long-term costs, according to a research report by Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the Washington Business Group on Health (WBGH) Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions. (Spencernet)

Elder Care Becoming Major Issue for Many Workers
Excerpt: "Many federal employees belong to the 'sandwich generation,' trying to juggle costs of children (including college tuition), retirement savings and care for elderly parents. The responsibilities and stress associated with child care and elder care often prompt employees to cut back working hours, refuse travel assignments or pass up promotions." (Washington Post via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

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

FASB Proposes Amendment of the Transition and Disclosure Provisions of Statement 123
Excerpt: "The staff has prepared this summary of Board decisions for information purposes only. Those Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting.... At its August 7, 2002 and August 14, 2002 Board meetings, the Board addressed issues related to the transition and disclosure provisions of FASB Statement No. 123, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation, and made the following decisions: ..." (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals)

Overview: Proposed Regulations for Split-Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements
(July 2002.) Excerpt: "On July 3, 2002, the Internal Revenue Service proposed extensive regulations concerning split-dollar life insurance arrangements (SDAs). The proposed regulations in many respects are consistent with Notice 2002-8, which announced that new rules would be established for equity split-dollar life insurance arrangements or Equity SDAs. An Equity SDA is an SDA that allocates cash value in excess of premium payments to an employee." (McDermott, Will & Emery)

Overview: Sarbanes-Oxley Act-- Implications for Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "Directors, executives, Section 16 compliance officers and human resources administrators will want to consider closely the following provisions under the Act: prohibition on personal loans to directors and executive officers; accelerated Section 16 filing deadlines; restrictions on company stock sales during retirement plan blackout periods; disgorging executive pay due to accounting restatements; [and] freeze on extraordinary payments to directors and officers." (McDermott, Will & Emery)

Forget Stock Options and Personal Loans-- Executives Now Want Cash
Excerpt: "Base salaries easily could top $1 million, a threshold many companies have stayed below because anything above it isn't tax-deductible. Many executives also are negotiating bigger performance-driven and signing bonuses." (AP via

Opinion: CEO Pay Tomorrow Will Be Same as Today
Excerpt: "With over-the-top pay and executive misbehavior so closely aligned, it might seem that exec compensation would be facing an overhaul. But the experts see little ahead that will reset the priorities of CEOs -- and certainly nothing that will ratchet down the average $11 million that top executives were paid in 2001." (Business Week)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Management Leader for Major Defined Contribution Provider
in GA
Director of Benefits for Fortune 500 hospitality company located in Southern California
in CA
Legal Assistant - Compensation, Employee Relations & Benefits for Dow, Lohnes & Albertson PLLC
in DC
Regional Account Manager for Pan American Retirement & Investment Services
in CA
401(k) Plan Administrator - Santa Barbara, CA for Accrued Benefit Administrators, Inc.
in CA
DC Administrator for Heaton :: Eadie
in IN
Counsel, Employee Benefits for National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
in VA

Newly Posted Press Releases
Alexander Hamilton Institute Releases New Free Report - "Preparing For The Anniversary of 9-11 (Alexander Hamilton Institute)

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