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December 20, 2002 - 8,030 subscribers
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IRS Describes Tax Treatment of Employer Payments to Employees Affected by Flood (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "An area within state ST was affected by a flood that was a Presidentially declared disaster as defined in § 1033(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.... Employer R makes grants to its employees who are affected by the flood ... The grants will pay or reimburse employees for medical, temporary housing, and transportation expenses they incur as a result of the flood that are not compensated for by insurance or otherwise." (Internal Revenue Service)

Analysis: Revised IRS Pub. 502 Describes Obesity Treatment Expenses, Trade Act Tax Credit
Excerpt: "In addition, Publication 502 has an extensive new section describing the Health Insurance Tax Credit enacted in the Trade Act of 2002. This credit allows individuals who are eligible for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, or people who are receiving PBGC benefits and are between the ages of 55 and 64, to receive a 65 percent tax credit for certain health insurance expenses, effective in December 2002." (The Segal Company)

Flexible Spending Accounts' Use-It-Or-Lose-It Rule Prompts Less Festive Holiday Spending Rush
Excerpt: "Buying a new pair of eyeglasses, getting a physical or splurging on dental work might not spring to mind as holiday traditions. But medical providers across the [North Carolina Research] Triangle say they enjoy a surge of business each December as consumers rush to get the most out of health benefits before coverage renews in January." (The [Raleigh, N.C.] News & Observer)

Consumer Group Seeks Order Banning Kaiser HMO's Arbitration Rules
Excerpt: "A California consumer advocacy group on Thursday said it has filed suit in state court to stop Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nonprofit HMO, from forcing patients to settle grievances against its doctors in binding arbitration." (Reuters Health via Medscape; free registration required)

Employers Need to Watch Out for Pregnancy Discrimination
Excerpt: "Many employers don't have a clue about how to treat pregnant women. That's apparently why pregnancy-bias complaints have jumped 25 percent in the past decade. A mother-to-be has coverage under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and the FMLA, and companies should know the ins and outs of both." (Workforce.com)

Companies Seek Alternatives to the Holiday Party to Boost Employee Morale
Excerpt: "Financial news provider Bloomberg, known for holding extravagant holiday bashes in venues like New York City's Museum of Natural History, has decided to skip the tradition in favor of a week dedicated to working on charitable causes.... Magazine publisher Time Inc. also canceled its holiday parties this year for the first time ... Instead, all of the company's U.S.-based workers are getting $100 gift certificates for use at Target department stores." (ABCnews.go.com)

Decoding Your Hospital Bills
Excerpt: "Once you've identified major charges, check the bill for common mistakes. Start at the top, where the invoice lists basic information such as your name, address, Social Security number, and insurance company.... If you feel unqualified to review your bill, call your insurer. Tell the customer-service representative that you suspect an error, and ask to speak to someone who reviews questionable charges. It is in the insurer's interest to help you resolve the problem ..." (Consumer Reports)

Consultants Hired by Massachusetts Legislature Will Recommend Universal Care Plan
Excerpt: "Consultants this month will present to the Massachusetts Legislature a report outlining options for the state to expand health coverage, the Boston Globe reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

On Long-Term Care Coverage, Adopt an Informed Policy
Excerpt: "If you decide the time has come to buy long-term care insurance, you'll probably find the issues you have to contemplate bewildering. Long-term care insurance is not easy to buy. There are more policy options, conditions and restrictions to think about than there are ice cream flavors at Baskin-Robbins." (Washington Post)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Fun & Challenging DC Compliance Position
for Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc.
in CA

529 Operation Implementation Manager
for ADP
in NJ

Retirement Benefits Analyst
for Rexam
in NC

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Invesmart
in MA

Investment Consultant
for Invesmart
in PA

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Invesmart
in DE
Newly Posted Webcasts
(Post Yours!)

What Health Legislation Can We Expect from the New Congress?
on December 19, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

National Issues Briefing To Examine Rising Hospital Costs
on December 2, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org
Newly Posted Conferences
(Post Yours!)

Benefit and Executive Compensation Implications under Sarbanes-Oxley
in GA
January 16, 2003
WEB Atlanta Chapter


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