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October 30, 2002 - 7,545 subscribers
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Insurers Must Win War For Claims Talent
Excerpt: "Insurer claim departments are increasingly challenged by an inability to attract, train and retain top-notch employees, which results in employee turnover rates of up to 30 percent and job openings that remain unfilled for weeks. As a result, low morale and productivity are serious problems." (The National Underwriter Company via Society for Human Resource Management)

University of Kentucky Lets Employees Use Paid Sick Days for Adoption Leave
Excerpt: "UK has a new policy for ... new parents. Under the plan released yesterday, employees who adopt can use up to six weeks of paid sick time for travel and adjustment time with their children. In addition, new fathers can use the six weeks of paid sick time to stay home with new infants." (Lexington Herald-Leader via Society for Human Resource Management)

Frequently Asked Questions About the New California Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program
Excerpt: "On September 23, 2002, the Governor signed historic legislation to extend disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off of work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent or domestic partner, or to bond with a new child. Senate Bill 1661 establishes the Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) program to be administered by the Disability Insurance (DI) program." (State of California, Employment Development Department)

The Mood at Work: Anger and Anxiety
Excerpt: "Many workers, [said Ilene Gochman, director of organization surveys for Watson Wyatt], feel their employers have violated their trust, by cutting the company match in their 401(k) plans or instituting a less-generous pension plan. 'Trust with an employer isn't much different from a romantic relationship,' Ms. Gochman said. 'Once trust is broken, people will look elsewhere to see whether they can find a better relationship.'" (New York Times; free registration required)

Faced With Less Time Off, Workers Take More
Excerpt: "As employers demand more work from fewer employees, workers are fighting back. They're calling in sick when they feel fine and sneaking more vacation time than they're allowed. That's a huge additional cost to employers." (USA Today via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Healthy, 'Anxious' Patients Might Be Driving Up Cost of Care
Excerpt: "ABC's 'World News Tonight' on Oct. 29 examined the phenomenon of the 'worried well,' those 'healthy, anxious patients' who are increasingly using the health care system and boosting costs. Offering a great deal of sometimes 'alarming' medical news, television, Web sites and other sources are 'feed[ing] the anxiety' of the worried well, and whose are growing ..." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Examining Cutbacks in Retiree Health Care
October 2002 issue. Excerpt: "A new Watson Wyatt study estimates that employer financial support will shrink to less than 10 percent of total retiree medical expense by the year 2031, under plan provisions already adopted by many employers. Employers are cutting health benefits to future retirees by: ..." (Watson Wyatt's HR Finance Alert)

Corporations Just the Tonic Generic Drug Effort Needed
Excerpt: "Georgia-Pacific was one of several large corporations that decided to speak out this year against soaring drug prices. 'We cannot survive under the present system,' Jody Hunter, Georgia-Pacific's director of health benefits, told a congressional committee." (St. Petersburg Times via AARP Bulletin)

Audio Excerpt: Parties Spar Over Ads for Medicare Drug Benefit
Excerpt: "A controversial election-season ad campaign -- substantially underwritten by drug companies -- advocates the much-debated proposal to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. NPR's Julie Rovner reports. Oct. 29, 2002." (National Public Radio)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2002 Midyear Report of Subcommittee on ERISA Preemption and Effects on Other Laws
96 pages; originally published February 2002. Discusses recent case law on interaction of ERISA with state law claims of wrongful discharge, claims processing, wrongful death, medical malpractice, domestic relations, severance pay and more. (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Midyear Report of Subcommittee on Employment Discrimination and Employee Benefits
27 pages; originally published February 2002. Discusses recent case law on pregnancy discrimination, contraceptive drug coverage, gender-based plan design differences, Americans With Disabilities Act coverage, the Erie County ADEA case, and ERISA section 510 claims. (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

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

Client Relationship Manager
for TeamVest RPS, Inc
in NC

Retirement Plan Analyst - Implementation
for Invesmart
in OH

401(k)/Benefit Consultant
for U.S. Benefits, Inc.
in NY

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Pharmacy Benefit Trends: Where are they going? How can we control costs?
on November 12, 2002
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Newly Posted Press Releases

PlanAnalytics Names Susan Grant Palombo Vice President Sales & Marketing
(PlanAnalytics, Inc.)

Help Made Available for Those Looking For Solo(k) Retirement Plan Providers
(401khelpcenter.com, LLC)

New look and feel for interaKt(tm)

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Editor and Publisher: David Rhett Baker, J.D.