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October 14, 2002 - 7,425 subscribers
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Family Leave Program Has California Businesses Wary
Excerpt: "To the consternation of many in the state's business community, most California workers will be eligible to take paid family leave in less than two years.... While officials of the state Chamber of Commerce expressed 'profound disappointment' with the legislation, plenty of individual workers are happy they'll have more options to cope with the demands of their personal and professional lives." (East Bay Business Times via bizjournals.com; free registration required)

Future of Health Insurance Debated at PPO Conference
Excerpt: "Health insurance may look a lot more like homeowners insurance-- being reserved for serious problems-- in the next generation of healthcare policies. This was the message that emerged from speakers this week at a conference of preferred provider organizations ..." (The Miami Herald)

Can Dependent Care Expense Account Reimburse Employee's Spouse's Nursing Home Expenses?
Excerpt: "No.... [E]mployment-related expenses specifically do not include payments for services provided outside the employee's household to care for a spouse who is incapable of self-care unless the spouse 'regularly spends at least 8 hours each day in the [employee's] household.'" (EBIA Weekly (Question of the Week))

Companies Providing 'Living Wills' to Employees
Excerpt: "A growing number of employers are sponsoring 'living will' benefits to workers help overcome a classic case of avoiding one's own mortality. Data show that most workers recognize the importance of these documents, which help direct medical treatment for patients who have become critically ill and unable to communicate." (BenefitNews.com)

Profusion of Health Care Laws Creates Compliance Problems for Health Plans
Excerpt: "The standoff has led to an epic legal struggle between business interests hungering for a uniform federal standard and local interests that are fiercely protective of states' longstanding right to dictate insurance law. From the perspective of MCOs, things are rapidly worsening." (Managed Care magazine)

Medicare Versus Private Insurance: Rhetoric and Reality
Excerpt: "Many policymakers have called for the remodeling of Medicare to more closely resemble private insurance, which is often assumed to work better than public programs do. However, evidence from this 2001 survey demonstrates that Medicare beneficiaries are generally more satisfied with their health care than are persons under age sixty-five who are covered by private insurance." (Health Affairs)

Opinion: AHPs Would Operate In a Regulatory Vacuum and 'Cherry-Pick' Only the Healthiest Groups
Includes link to October 1, 2002 legal analysis prepared by Groom Law Group on 'association health plans.' Excerpt: "Federal legislation ... if passed by Congress, would allow for association health plans (AHPs) to operate in a regulatory vacuum ... and subject small businesses with sick and disabled employees to higher premiums through classic 'cherry-picking', according to legal analyses released today by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA)." (BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Statewide Healthcare Plan in Wisconsin Gains Steam, Backed by AFL-CIO
Excerpt: "Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce says mandating every employer to fund the plan would be unfair to small businesses.... Despite the business lobby group's concerns, some business owners and executives regard the plan as a possible solution to 20 to 30 percent annual increases in insurance premiums." (The Business Journal of Milwaukee via bizjournals.com; free registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Clark Bardes Publishes 2002 Executive Benefits Survey of Current Trends
Excerpt: "Our extensive annual survey of executive benefits reflects data compiled from over 225 Fortune 1000 companies." (Clark Bardes Consulting; free registration required)

Controversial Repricings of Stock Options On the Rise
Excerpt: "Stock-option repricings are surging as companies replace worthless holdings with lower-priced options, providing employees a better chance to cash in if share prices rebound." (USA Today via Yahoo! News)

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

Qualified Plan Administrator
for Lane Gorman Trubitt, L.L.P.
in TX

Benefits and Compensation Accountant - Sr. Consultant - New York City
for PricewaterhouseCoopers
in NY

401(k) / Pension Administrator
for Ingham Group
in FL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Great-West v. Knudson Teleconference
October 21, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

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