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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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August 22, 2002 - 7,007 subscribers
Today's sponsor: EBIA's Group Health Plans: Federal Mandates Other Than COBRA & HIPAA

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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)

2003 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey: Preliminary Findings (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Preliminary findings from the 2003 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey forecast cost increases at similar levels to 2002. Prescription drug coverage is expected to continue to increase at the highest rate: nearly 20 percent. Trend rates for health maintenance organization (HMO) and preferred provider organization (PPO) health plan models continue to creep up over current levels." (The Segal Company)

More People Are Taking More Expensive Drugs
Excerpt: "Prescription drug spending in the United States continues to rise at a brisk pace, propelled by increases in the sales of a relatively small number of top-selling drugs each year, according to a report by the National Institute for Health Care Management. An increasing number of persons, according to the report, are taking more expensive medications for a wider array of conditions and diseases than ever before." (Drug Benefit Trends via Medscape; free registration required)

Boom Years Failed To Boost Ranks of Health-Insured
Excerpt: "The booming economy of the late 1990s did not lead to an increase in the percentage of American workers covered by employer-sponsored health insurance, a study finds. The number of uninsured children in working families dropped, but only because of a new government program." (AP via The Hartford Courant)

Final HIPAA Privacy Regulations Issued-- Implications for Employers
Excerpt: "The Final Amendments did not change the date for complying with the Privacy Rule, which remains April 14, 2003. ('Small health plans,' which are health plans with annual receipts of $5 million or less, have until April 14, 2004 to comply.) In addition, as noted those employers who have an executed written contract in place with a business associate prior to October 15, 2002 are granted up to an extra year to comply with the business associate agreement provisions of the Privacy Rule." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Model Compliance Plan May Help Employers with Their HIPAA EDI Compliance Filings (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Under HIPAA, the responsibilities of employers that offer health coverage vary according to how the coverage is funded ... Many employers that offer insured health coverage do not realize that HIPAA will affect them because they assume that their health insurer or health maintenance organization will take care of all HIPAA compliance. In fact, employers must monitor their business associates and assure that a compliance plan is being filed on their behalf." (The Segal Company)



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

The Sarbanes-Oxley Loan Ban - An Update on Benefits Issues
Excerpt: "This Legal Alert provides an update on the prohibition on personal loans to public company directors and executive officers contained in Section 402 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ... with a focus on three key issue areas-- 401(k) plan loans, stock option cashless exercises, and split-dollar life insurance." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Benefits and Compensation Aspects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
Excerpt: "The insider trading blackout restriction prohibits directors and executive officers from trading in any company equities during a blackout if the director or executive officer acquired such equity securities 'in connection with his or her service or employment.' It seems clear that Congress intended this to include grants under stock option and restricted stock plans ..." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad


Senior 401(K) Plan Administrator
for Seeking Senior Plan Administrator in Baltimore in MD

Benefits Administrator
for Weaver and Tidwell, LLP in TX

401k Client Relationship Manager
for Great West Life & Annuity in TX

Retirement Service Implementation Manager-West
for ADP, Inc in CA

Conversion Specialist
for TeamVest RPS, Inc. in NC

Pension Administrator
for Snyder Cohn Collyer Hamilton & Associates, P.C. in MD

OmniPlus Programmer/Analyst
for Interactive Business Systems, Inc. in OH


Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)


Dealing with Errors and Omissions by Pension Actuaries
on September 23, 2002
presented by The Society of Actuaries


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)


Who's the Employer?
in CA on September 19, 2002
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)


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