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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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September 5, 2002 - 7,007 subscribers
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What Every Employer Needs to Know About the HIPAA Privacy Rules (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "To assist you in developing a strategy for bringing your health benefit plans into compliance by April 14, 2003 (a year later for certain 'small' plans), we have prepared this detailed question-and-answer guidance. This guidance incorporates the final version of the Privacy Rules and also draws on our experience advising clients on these issues over the past several years." (Gardner Carton & Douglas)

2002 Employee Health Benefits Survey
Excerpt: "Sharply rising health care costs and the downturn in the economy have resulted in higher premium contributions and cost-sharing requirements for workers, and cutbacks in the scope of health benefits offered by firms, according to the 2002 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.... Premiums increased 12.7%, the highest increase since 1990. Single premiums are now, on average, $3,060 ..." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Reduction In Health Benefits For Early Retirees Was Not a Breach of Contract, Court Rules
An employer did not commit a breach of contract when it reduced retiree health benefits for retirees who previously had signed a contract as part of an early retirement incentive program. This was the decision of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Stearns v. NCR Corporation, et al. (Nos. 01-1896). (Spencernet)

Use of 'Hospitalist' Doctors Brings Down Costs in Birmingham, Alabama
Excerpt: "Thanks to an emerging physician practice catching hold in Birmingham, patients are spending less time in the hospital. Hospitals are saving money. And primary care doctors are making more money and spending less time traveling.... It's all because of a new breed of physicians known as 'hospitalists,' who spend the bulk of their workday in hospitals caring for inpatients." (Birmingham Business Journal via; free registration required)

Consumer-Driven Health Plans Not Yet Being Widely Adopted
Excerpt: "Despite the talk about consumer-driven health plans as the next step to alleviate runaway health care spending, employers have not embraced the trend as quickly as some industry analysts had hoped. Many are intrigued by the new 'do-it-yourself' style of health plans being pitched by Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group.... But according to some estimates, fewer than 100,000 U.S. workers are covered by such plans this year." (Dow Jones News Service via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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

SEC Publishes Final Rules for Reports and Trading by Officers, Directors and Principal Shareholders
Excerpt: "[A]cquisitions pursuant to Qualified Plans, Excess Benefit Plans, Stock Purchase Plans and the reinvestment of dividends or interest pursuant to broad-based dividend or interest reinvestment plans ... will remain exempt from Section 16(a) reporting. In contrast, transactions pursuant to non-qualified deferred compensation plans and other dividend or interest reinvestment plan transactions ... will be reportable on Form 4 within two business days after the date of execution." (Securities and Exchange Commission)

New CEO for International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; Altobelli Retires After 14 Years
Press release. Excerpt: "The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans announced that Michael Wilson has been hired as the new chief executive officer. Wilson begins his post on September 9, following the retirement of current CEO John A. Altobelli.... During Altobelli's tenure, the Foundation has grown from a $9 million to a $24 million budget. The number of programs offered expanded from 35 in 1988 to over 100 today." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

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

Retirement Plan Consultant - Portland, ME
for Invesmart, Inc in ME

Pension Education Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors in AL, AR, CT, FL, GA, LA, MA, ME, MS, NC, NH, NY, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT

Retirement Plan Administrator
for T. Charles & Associates, Inc. in CA

Account Executive/Client Services
for Diversified Investment Advisors in IL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

A Serious Look at Next Strategies for Health Care Cost Containment
in GA on September 12, 2002
presented by The Segal Company

Opportunities & Challenges: Stock Options in Today's Economy
in CA on September 24, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in IL on October 9, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in MN on October 10, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in IA on October 22, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in MO on October 23, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Introduction to ESOPs
in NE on October 24, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

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