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October 11, 2002 - 7,425 subscribers
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IRS to Cancel Offer to Disallow 80% of Deductions on Broad-Based COLI; Will Go to Court for 100% (PDF)
Excerpt: "To date, the Service has successfully litigated three cases involving broad-based COLI transactions.... In all three cases, the courts denied the claimed interest deductions on the ground that the COLI plans lacked economic substance." (Internal Revenue Service)

Most Consumers Do Not Change Health Plans, Providers After Seeing Quality Ratings
Excerpt: "Most consumers who view health care service quality ratings do not consider the information in decisions about hospitals, health plans or physicians, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the survey, scheduled for release Oct. 11, researchers interviewed 1,013 adults nationwide." (KaiserNetwork.org)

NPR Coverage: Health Care Co-Pays Rise Along with Premiums
RealAudio file. Excerpt: "Health care premiums are rising, and so are 'out of pocket' fees for patients. The rise in deductibles and co-pays can be a burden for those who use medical care the most. NPR's Julie Rovner reports. Oct. 10, 2002." (National Public Radio)

Blue Cross to Begin Rating Doctors in California
Excerpt: "Blue Cross of California, one of the nation's largest health insurers, this fall will begin keeping a quality scorecard on thousands of physicians and pay bonuses to those who meet high standards of care.... The latest program is unusual in that it attempts ... to motivate them to follow the industry's best practices in the treatment and preventive care of patients." (Los Angeles Times; free registration required)

Health Insurer's Co-Pay Plan Puts Milwaukee Area Hospitals Into Cost Tiers
Excerpt: "For the first time in Wisconsin, a health insurance company will require co-payments in the range of $1,300 a day from patients who choose to receive treatment in one of 12 Milwaukee-area hospitals that the insurer considers high-priced. But no, or reduced, co-pays will be required for patients who choose to receive care at one of 15 other hospitals deemed to have lower costs, under the new plan from health insurer CompcareBlue." (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Health Care Issues Stymie Congress
Excerpt: "No patients' bill of rights. No Medicare prescription drug benefit. No help to bring lower-cost generic drugs more quickly to market. That's the record on health care issues Congress will take to voters in less than a month. The final piece fell into place Wednesday when high-ranking House Republicans made it clear they have no plan to consider generic drug legislation before Election Day." (The Hartford Courant)

Prescription Drugs: Survey Findings (PDF)
Begins at page 4 of this 7-page document. Excerpt: "Earlier this year, 84 percent of surveyed human resource professionals told Deloitte & Touche that controlling health care costs is their 2002 'top priority'.... [D]ealing with the rising cost of prescription drug benefits is one of the most-- if not the most-- significant challenges." (Deloitte & Touche Human Capital Advisory Services)

Energy and Commerce Republicans Oppose Hatch-Waxman Act Changes; Democrats Support Them
Excerpt: "The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on Oct. 9 held a hearing on Senate-passed legislation (S 812) that would increase patient access to generic drugs, CongressDaily reports.... Subcommittee Democrats, however, called for passage of the Senate bill and said that Republicans have opposed the legislation to win the favor of 'deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies,' Reuters reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

New Survey Shows Workers Rethinking Priorities
Excerpt: "According to a new workplace survey by CIGNA Behavioral Health, mounting economic and world tensions have taken a toll over the past year and have led many American workers to take a closer look at what's important in their lives and contemplate making significant changes-- so much so that 45% of all employees surveyed say they've either considered leaving their job in the last year, left a job, or plan to do so soon." (NewsRx.com via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Metrics Helping Hospitals and Doctors Meet Health Plan Demands for Improvements in Quality
Excerpt: "Without accurate, usable tools, physicians and hospitals can't be expected to accept financial accountability for their performance. Excellus Health Plan, a Rochester, N.Y.-based insurer, is addressing that need with an automated reminder and reporting system that helps physicians comply with clinical guidelines and provides them with regular updates on their performance." (iHealthBeat.com; free registration required)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Most Large Corporations Deferring Decision on Expensing Stock Options
Excerpt: "More than 53% of companies say they're going to hold off making decisions on the matter until there are more standards on how to accurately value stock options in their financial statements, according to a recent poll of 120 large U.S. corporations." (Chicago Business)




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

401(k) /Pension Administrator
for Great Lakes Pension Administrators, Inc.
in MI

Manager of Account Managers
for SunTrust Bank
in VA

Senior Group Underwriting/Marketing Analyst
for Insurance Resource Group Careers
in CA

Individual Consultant
for TIAA-CREF
in MN


Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

A Review of the FTC Report, 'Generic Drug Entry Prior to Patent Expiration'
on October 9, 2002
presented by Kaisernetwork.org


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

NICSA Semi-Annual West Coast Regional Meeting
in CA
November 21, 2002
National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA)

The Coming Global Retirement Crisis
in AZ
October 17, 2002
Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Phoenix Chapter


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

The New 529 College Savings Plans "Do They Really Make Sense as an Employee Benefit"
(National Association of Professional College Advisors)

Announcing Qualified Plan Administrators, Inc. New Web Site www.qpainc.com
(Qualified Plan Administrators, Inc.)

Labor Department Settles Pension Fund Charges Against Wells Fargo Bank Over Purchase of Company Stock
(U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

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