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October 17, 2002 - 7,425 subscribers
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Oral Notice of COBRA Election Rights Given by Employer's Insurance Agent Found Sufficient to Comply
Chesnut v. Montgomery (8th Cir. 2002). Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: This decision may be helpful in an emergency, if a plan finds itself in court facing a claim under COBRA for unreimbursed medical expenses or statutory penalties. But we don't recommend relying on this case in designing COBRA compliance policies and procedures.... [E]ven if sufficient oral notice can be proven in court, the expense of litigation will have been incurred." (EBIA Weekly)

Employer's Disregard of COBRA's Election Notice Requirement Results in $50,000 Judgment
Holford v. Exhibit Design Consultants (W.D. Mich. 2002). Excerpt: "In this case, the employer failed to properly notify the qualified beneficiary of her COBRA election rights upon her termination of employment. (The employer apparently relied on COBRA information contained in its employee handbook rather than providing COBRA election notices to affected qualified beneficiaries upon the occurrence of specific COBRA qualifying events.)" (EBIA Weekly)

The Cost of Managed Formularies (PDF)
Sept. 2002 issue. Excerpt: "Before implementing a managed formulary to save on drug plan costs, there are several alternatives plan sponsors can look at." (Benefits Canada)

Overview: DHHS Issues Frequently Asked Questions About the HIPAA Privacy Rule
Excerpt: "While many of the FAQs address issues that concern health care providers (e.g., doctors and hospitals) and their patients, the FAQs also include items of interest to group health plans and their sponsors.... [One of the FAQs says] the privacy rule permits a covered entity or its business associate to disclose protected health information (PHI) as necessary to obtain payment for health care, without limiting to whom such a disclosure may be made." (EBIA Weekly)

Comparisons of the Liability Provisions of the House and Senate Patients' Rights Bills
October 2002. Excerpt: "This paper describes some of the key differences on the liability issue between the Senate and House legislative proposals.... [It] will not address the issue of employer liability. The Senate and the House bills both have provisions that would permit employers and other plan sponsors to protect themselves from potential liability. The discussion [is] on disputes about coverage decisions made by HMOs or other health insurers ..." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Commentary: Health Coverage Hysteria
Excerpt: "Most Americans today are grossly overinsured for minor medical expenses and underinsured for rare but staggering expenses. This is partly the consequence of laws in many states mandating that health policies cover every conceivable ailment and treatment -- you must buy a Rolls Royce policy or nothing." (Alan Reynolds published by the Cato Institute)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans: What's Ahead?
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt set out to understand the corporate perspective on when nonqualified plans met their goals and when-- and why-- they fell short. In Watson Wyatt's 2002 Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Study, we surveyed 169 firms ... Survey highlights include: ..." (Watson Wyatt)

Overview: Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Current Proposals on Employee Benefits and Executive Comp
6 pages. Includes discussion of shareholder approval of equity-based compensation plans, NYSE and NASDAQ rules on compensation committees and the House-passed Pension Security Act. (Proskauer Rose)

Overview: FASB Addresses FAS 123 Transition Rules
Excerpt: "The latest development in the continuing saga of stock option expensing is a new Exposure Draft from FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board). FASB is proposing to amend the transition rules and disclosure requirements of FAS 123, the standard that governs accounting for stock-based compensation." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting)

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

Defined Contribution Project Manager - MJ-020917-008
for Hewitt Associates
in GA

Retirement Specialist - Defined Benefit Plans
for Coca-Cola Enterprises
in GA

Newly Posted Press Releases

Black Mountain Group: "Outsourcing's Jerry Maguire Wins Inc 500 Ranking"
(Black Mountain Group)

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