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December 12, 2002 - 8,136 subscribers
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Deloitte & Touche Tracks and Identifies HIPAA Privacy Reg Changes, Published Online
94 pages; click on 'HIPAA Changes' on the target page. Marvelous. (Deloitte & Touche's Privacy Support Services for Health Care & Life Sciences)

New COBRA Trade Act Election: Implications for Plan Administrators
Excerpt: "[The Trade Act of 2002] amended the [tax code] to create a tax credit for up to 65% of the premiums paid by eligible individuals for certain types of medical coverage (including COBRA medical coverage) for eligible individuals and their qualifying family members. In addition, the Act affects COBRA administration by adding a second COBRA election period for individuals who become eligible for TAA benefits. Both the tax credit and COBRA election provisions recently became effective ..." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Wall Street Journal Publishing Company Agrees to Provide Contraceptive Coverage
Press release from Planned Parenthood, working for the plaintiffs. Excerpt: "Planned Parenthood Federation of America is pleased to announce that its attorneys have successfully negotiated a settlement of legal charges brought against Dow Jones & Company by three Dow Jones employees. As a result of the settlement, all Dow Jones employees and their dependents will have insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives." (Planned Parenthood)

2002 Form M-1 Online for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "The administrator of a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) generally must file this report for every calendar year, or portion thereof, that the MEWA offers or provides benefits for medical care to the employees of two or more employers (including one or more self-employed individuals).... [unless] the MEWA ... is licensed or authorized to operate as a health insurance issuer in every State in which it offers or provides coverage for medical care ..." (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Cincinnati Area Employers Held Down 2002 Healthcare Cost Increase to Just 2.6 Percent
Excerpt: "Greater Cincinnati's larger employers held their 2002 health benefit cost increases to just 2.6 percent, much less than predicted nationwide, according to a report issued Monday by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Mercer reported a 10 percent increase in Ohio and 11.5 percent increase nationally for large employers." (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Where Was Healthcare in the 2002 Elections?
Excerpt: "A review of preelection opinion polls finds that health care was not the most pressing issue on voters' minds this year." (Health Affairs)

Opinion: the Case Against Relying on HMOs and Private Insurers to Offer Prescription Drug Coverage
Excerpt: "This Public Citizen report uses recent authoritative research on the Medicare program and its beneficiaries' experiences with HMOs (Medicare+Choice plans) and private indemnity insurance to demonstrate why it would be a mistake for Congress to rely on private plans, rather than the Medicare program, to offer prescription drug coverage." (Public Citizen)

Insurers' Calls for Universal Health Coverage Pave Way for Political Rematch
Excerpt: "Despite a resounding referendum defeat in Oregon last month, the drumbeat for minimal care for 41 million uninsured Americans grows louder.... Universal health care's evolution is getting a boost from some unlikely entities -- health insurance companies." (CBS.MarketWatch.com)

Some San Francisco Doctors Ditching Managed Care Model
Excerpt: "Fed up with the high patient load, low reimbursements and heavy administration and paperwork involved in the health insurance system, more Bay Area doctors are simply pulling out of it. Abandoning their insurance contracts, many say that ... they have discovered they can run a successful practice without them. Patients pay up-front for all services, and patients must deal with the insurance company to receive a reimbursement." (San Francisco Business Times via bizjournals.com; free registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Reconsidering Compensation and Other Needs in an Era of Heightened Corporate Scrutiny (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Although the structure of executive compensation programs may need to be reshaped in reaction to current economic times and realities, it is important to keep in mind that the principles of executive pay as a tool for enhancing the success of the business have not changed. This new corporate landscape requires thoughtful reexamination of the [following] components of executive pay ..." (The Segal Company)

Are Your Company's Older Employees Leaving? It Might Be Costing You
Excerpt: "The bottom line: employee turnover is costly. F. Leigh Branham, author of Keeping the People Who Keep You In Business, estimates turnover costs may range from 25 percent to almost 200 percent of annual compensation.... [W]hile the economy is pushing many older workers to postpone their retirement by a few years, these workers don't feel challenged or respected by their current employers." (SmartPros)

HR Should Bone Up on USERRA Law in Case of Iraqi Action
Excerpt: "Pentagon officials confirmed Nov. 19 that, if the United States goes to war, 100,000 to 200,000 additional reservists could be called to active duty. This news means it's time for HR professionals to bone up on their responsibilities to employees who serve as reservists in the military." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Analysis: SEC and DOL Rules on Insider Trading During Blackout Periods (PDF)
5 pages; Dec. 9, 2002. Excerpt: "In this Client Alert, we will examine (1) the Proposed Rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which clarify the application of Section 306(a) of the [Sarbanes-Oxley] Act, and (2) the Interim Final Rules adopted by the Department of Labor (DOL), which provide guidance on the timing and content of the notice required under Section 306(b) of the Act." (Pillsbury Winthrop LLP)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Benefits Counselor #02-3986.IBL
for Mayo Clinic
in MN

TrustMark Administration Consultant
for MK Consulting, Inc.
Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Publishes Year 2002 Form M-1 for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements
(U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)
Movers and Shakers: Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel
(Post Yours!)

Claudia Vides (LAR PENSIONS, LLC)

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