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October 3, 2002 - 7,276 subscribers
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WorldCom to Hand Out $36 Million in Severance Pay
Excerpt: "In a move aimed at shoring up the morale of its remaining workers, bankrupt telecom WorldCom won court permission [on Oct. 1, 2002] to hand $36 million in severance payments to laid-off employees. The ruling, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, also allows WorldCom to retract $1.4 million in severance payments promised to 19 laid-off company executives before the company filed for bankruptcy in July ..." (The Seattle Times via Society for Human Resource Management)

Web-Based Wellness Plans Finding Success
Excerpt: "Part of the allure of an online wellness program is anonymity. Employers benefit because at-risk employees are more apt to participate, thus potentially lowering health-care costs. Indeed, before the Web, many health programs were done face-to-face." (IndustryWeek Magazine via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Full Text of Nebraska Case Cited in Recent Revenue Ruling on Medical Reimbursement Plans (PDF)
Wollenburg v. Commissioner, No. 4:98CV3251 (D. Neb. 1999). Excerpt: "The IRS disallowed reimbursement of the medical expenses Leola Wollenburg incurred between January 1, 1993, (the effective coverage date of the medical expense reimbursement plan) and December 16, 1993, (the date the Wollenburgs adopted the medical expense reimbursement plan)." (Internal Revenue Service)

Pay For Unused Vacation? Depends on Where You Live
Excerpt: "Each state has its own vacation pay policy, court decision, or statute. Employers should become familiar with their own state's rule about employee vacation accrual and pay, and should be sure their own vacation pay policy works in accordance with the law of their state." (BLR (Business & Legal Reports, Inc.); free registration required)

Overview: HIPAA Privacy Issues for Employers Who Sponsor Group Health Plans
Excerpt: "As an employer, am I subject to the HIPAA privacy rules? ... What is the effective date of the HIPAA privacy rules? The rules are generally effective April 14, 2003. Small group health plans, i.e., those with annual receipts of $5 million dollars or less, have an additional year to comply, until April 14, 2004." (McDermott, Will & Emery)

Full Text of Proposed Compliance Guidance for Pharmaceutical Makers' Gifts to Benefit Managers (PDF)
Excerpt: "This Federal Register notice seeks the comments of interested parties on draft compliance guidance developed by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the pharmaceutical industry. Through this notice, the OIG is setting forth its general views on the value and fundamental principles of compliance programs for pharmaceutical manufacturers and the specific elements that pharmaceutical manufacturers should consider when developing and implementing an effective compliance program." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General)

Deadline For Compliance With HIPAA Electronic Transmission Standards Looms (PDF)
2-page overview; includes flowchart for determining whether a plan sponsor is required to meet the October 16, 2002 deadline. (Hodgson Russ LLP)

Energy and Commerce To Take Up Generic Drug Bill Next Week; Full House Unlikely To Act
Excerpt: "The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing next week to discuss a generic drug bill (S 812) approved by the Senate in July, but the House 'still appears unlikely to act' on the legislation, CongressDaily/AM reports ... The bill would allow brand-name drug companies to receive only one 30-month patent extension per product, closing loopholes in the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act ..." (

Splitting Pills Can Cut Cost of Medicines In Half-- But Is It Safe?
Excerpt: "As drug costs soar, consumers and insurers are taking a new look at the time-honored but controversial practice of pill-splitting, which capitalizes on the fact that bigger-dose pills of many drugs often sell for the same price or only slightly more than smaller dose pills. The safety and ease of pill-splitting is the subject of a national debate." (The Miami Herald)

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

Retirement Service Specialists
for Constantin Control Associates
in NJ, NY

Employee Benefits Specialist
for QCI Asset Management, Inc.
in NY

Administrative Assistant
for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.
in NY

Director, Client Servicing, Relationship Management
for New York Life Benefit Services, LLC
in MA

IRA Manager
for A privately held, national real estate investment / management company
in GA

Balance Forward Account Administrator
for Houston TPA Firm
in TX

Daily Valuation Plan Manager
for Mid-Size Recordkeeping Firm
in SC

Vested Interest Account Manager
for PNC Advisors
in PA

Benefit Analysts
for Pension Resource Group
in GA

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Advanced Pension Conference
in FL
February 12, 2003
SunGard Corbel

Advanced Pension Conference
in IL
September 10, 2003
SunGard Corbel

SunGard Corbel Client Conference
in FL
June 9, 2003
SunGard Corbel

Newly Posted Press Releases

IRS Helps Taxpayers Preserve Retirement Savings By Allowing a Change to Pension Distribution Amounts
(Internal Revenue Service)

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