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October 2, 2002 - 7,276 subscribers
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Cost of Employee Health Plans Will Be 15% More in 2003 than in 2002 for Large Employers
Excerpt: "Large companies will pay on average 15% more to provide health plans for their employees in 2003 than they did this year, according to a survey by consulting firm Towers Perrin that found health costs are increasing 'even faster than feared,' the Wall Street Journal reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Drug Makers Use Muscle To Block Bill on Generic Drugs
Excerpt: "Large brand-name pharmaceutical companies are waging what appears to be a successful lobbying and public relations battle to prevent the House from taking up a bill that would make it easier for generic drugs to enter the marketplace." (The Boston Globe)

Medical Databanks - Creating a Culture of Awareness
Excerpt: "At a recent congressional hearing on proposed legislation that would create a database for health care providers to report medical errors, one issue proved to be the most contentious: mandatory reporting of adverse events by providers." (iHealthBeat.com; free registration required)

Opinion: Minnesota Should Follow California's Lead in Paid Family Leave
Excerpt: "Last week ... [California] Gov. Gray Davis signed into law a six-week paid family leave program, funded by employee contributions through the state's disability insurance system. It will allow eligible workers time off with about 55 percent pay ... The Children's Defense Fund should renew its motion for paid parental leave at the 2003 [Minnesota] Legislature." (StarTribune.com)

Education Assistance Do's and Don'ts
8 pages. Excerpt: "Discussion of the practical and legal considerations with implementing an education assistance or tuition reimbursement program. Legal and tax considerations, practical issues, minimum requirements, motivation and morale issues, cost considerations, and more." (BLR (Business & Legal Reports, Inc.); free registration required)

DOL Calls For Implementation of Association Health Plans To Expand Health Care Coverage
On September 13, the Department of Labor issued a report asserting that implementing association health plans (AHPs) would lower premium costs and thus expand health insurance coverage to at least 2 million workers and their families. Two years ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that AHPs would reduce premiums by an average of 13%, but ranging from 8% to 25%. (Spencernet)

Nonprofit Insurance Association Provides Health Insurance for Freelancers
Excerpt: "Working Today is not an insurer. Rather, it forms a group and then buys insurance for it from HIP and other providers.... Working Today has almost 1,000 subscribers. They had to show proof that they earned $9,000 in a six-month period or that they were employed in technology jobs for at least 120 hours. Technology is defined as everything from software development to online journalism." (New York Times; free registration required)

Draft Guidelines Warn Against Incentives for Drug Switching
Excerpt: "The pharmaceutical industry must not offer cash or other financial incentives to pharmacies, physicians or benefit managers to switch a patient's prescription from one manufacturer's drug to a rival product, the U.S. government warned on Monday. Such inducements may be viewed as 'kickbacks' prohibited under federal law ..." (Reuters via Medscape; free registration required)

Most Californians Satisfied with HMOs
Excerpt: "Californians are generally satisfied with the performance of their managed-care physicians and health insurance plans but want better access to medical specialists and less time spent in doctor waiting rooms, the Davis administration said Tuesday. The conclusions were contained in a second annual state government 'report card' that rated the 10 biggest HMOs, covering 95% of Californians ..." (Los Angeles Times; free registration required)

Health Insurance Cuts Hurting Retirees
Excerpt: "As health care spending continues to rise ... more companies are likely to scale back on retiree coverage, especially for new hires. But some companies are also cutting benefits for those already in retirement or increasing the amount the retirees must pay. The cutbacks represent another challenge for a country where too few people are saving enough for retirement costs. Many are not factoring in health care costs at all." (USA Today)

Newspapers, Advocacy Groups Respond to New Census Bureau Uninsurance Figures
Excerpt: "A Census Bureau report released Sept. 30 finding that the number of uninsured people living in the United States increased last year has prompted responses from several newspapers and advocacy groups.... The following is a summary of editorial reaction to the study:" (KaiserNetwork.org)

Jackson Hole Group Teams Up Again to Discuss Health Reforms
Excerpt: "The Jackson Hole Group, a group of health care reformers that 'spearheaded the concept of HMOs' in 1970 and 'stimulated debate' over the national health care plan sponsored by former President Clinton in the 1990s, has proposed 'new information technologies to help deliver care and assure quality,' the Wall Street Journal reports ..." (KaiserNetwork.org)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Are Older Workers Responding to the Bear Market?
Excerpt: "In the past year, as the economy has weakened and unemployment has risen, the labor force participation rate for older workers (aged 55-64) has jumped by 2.0 percentage points-- an increase unprecedented in post-war U.S. economic history." (Andrew D. Eschtruth and Jonathan Gemus, published by the Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

Are CEOs Worth Their Salaries?
Excerpt: "The skyrocketing salaries of corporate tycoons have sparked a heated debate over how to compensate executives at America's largest companies. But the real concern, according to Intel Corp. Chairman Andrew S. Grove, should not be how executives are paid, but how much.... 'Everybody wants to be near the top of the salary list,' said Graef Crystal ... 'It's like Lake Wobegon: No one can be below average.'" (Washington Post)




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

Administrator - Traditional and Daily Valuation Capable
for WESPAC Plan Services, Inc.
in CA

401k Client Service Representative
for ADP
in NJ

401k Compliance Analyst/Specialist
for ADP
in NJ

Government Reporting Specialist
for New York Life Benefit Services, LLC
in MA

Plan Administrator
for Ceridian
in FL

Employee Benefits Administrative Assistant
for AmSouth Bank
in FL

Employee Benefits SR Trust Administrator
for Union Planters Financial Services
in TN

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Invesmart
in PA

Actuary
for The Heintzberger Company
in OR

Benefits Consultant
for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C.
in WA

Sr. Conversion Integration Analyst
for ADP
in NJ


Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Are Consumers Smart Enough to Pick Their Own Health Plan?
on September 27, 2002
presented by American Enterprise Institute

Hearing on Long-Term Care
on September 26, 2002
presented by Kaiser Family Foundation


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Managing Benefits in a Volatile Economy
in OH
October 17, 2002
WEB, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Yours, Mine and Ours: Sorting Out Benefits in Corporate Acquisitions
in CA
October 17, 2002
Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

S&P's Participant Newsletters Available To Retirement Plan Pros at Reduced Prices: Special One-Issue Trial of S&P Flagship Retirement Planning Newsletter
(Standard & Poor's Financial Communications)

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