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August 23, 2004
Today's sponsor: BeneCom Associates, LLC

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Since 1992, BeneCom has produced benefit communications,
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)
Rx Depot Agrees To Halt Practice of Assisting U.S. Residents with Canada Drug Purchases
Excerpt: "Oklahoma-based Rx Depot on Friday dropped legal opposition to a preliminary injunction that required the storefront pharmacy chain to end operations as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of FDA by the Justice Department, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Companies In Rush To 'Wellness' Incentives for Employees
Excerpt: "Cash payouts may sound radical, but they're among a growing array of incentives employers now use to tip rising health care costs in their favor. Companies such as Xanser Corp. and The Container Store hope that, by encouraging employees in their battles against the bulge and other maladies, the employees' health care utilization will decrease and so, in turn, will the companies' health care premiums." (Dallas Business Journal via bizjournals.com; one-time registration required)

Newspapers Examine Scrutiny of Pharmacy Benefit Managers' Business Practices
Excerpt: "Two newspapers recently examined the increased scrutiny of business practices used by pharmacy benefit managers, with their role in pres.cription drug coverage likely to expand after the launch of the new Medicare pres.cription drug benefit in 2006." (KaiserNetwork.org)

Text of White Paper by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Retiree Drug Coverage (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "CMS is presenting multiple options for employers and unions to offer enhanced drug coverage to retirees at a lower cost ... [W]e are interested in hearing what employers are likely to do under the various proposed options.... Employers and unions can choose between two broad options in offering additional retiree drug coverage: offering coverage that qualifies for the retiree drug subsidy, or enhancing the basic Medicare drug benefit." (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

Employers' Views of the Future of Retiree Health Benefits In Higher Education in the United States (PDF)
48 pages. Excerpt: "This paper explores the myriad issues that employers are now considering as they decide their future role in providing retiree health insurance. The ultimate focus of the paper is on what is happening in the world of higher education and how employers in this sector of the economy are currently treating retired faculty and how the health insurance now being provided might change in the future." (Sylvester S. Schieber published by the TIAA-CREF Institute)

Consumer-Driven Plans Await Test from Sicker Enrollees
Excerpt: "It's been smooth traveling along the consumer-driven health itinerary so far, report insurers and third-party administrators. Early results show consumer-driven health plans - either based on a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or the newly available health savings accounts (HSAs) - are having the intended effect of getting consumers to question health-seeking behaviors and reduce discretionary spending.' (Employee Benefit News)

Diabetes Prevalence, Cost and Impact on Productivity
Excerpt: "A nearly unprecedented confluence of demographic and lifestyle factors have made diabetes one of the most serious health-related problems confronting employers today." (Employee Benefit News)

Maverick Health Plan Ups Quality to Cut Cost
Excerpt: "Wyoming mining firms save by getting workers top care from the start, rewarding providers." (Los Angeles Times; one-time registration required)

Insurance Ills Put Squeeze on Consumers
Excerpt: "Anyone who was paying for health insurance in 1988 will remember the last great American health insurance crisis, the one so severe it sparked a national debate on the cost of private insurance and even led to an ill-fated attempt at a national health plan." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Insurers Object to New Provision in Medicare Law
Excerpt: "A major obstacle to the success of the new Medicare law has emerged in recent weeks: private insurers have told the Bush administration that they will not expand their role in Medicare if they have to serve large multistate regions, as the White House wants." (New York Times; one-time registration required)

Wide U.S. Inquiry Into Purchasing for Health Care
Excerpt: "The Justice Department has opened a broad criminal investigation of the medical-supply industry, apparently to determine whether hospitals and other medical care providers are fraudulently overcharging Medicare and other federal and state health programs for a wide array of goods ..." (New York Times; one-time registration required)

Bush Healthcare Coverage Predictions Seem to Fall Short
Excerpt: "If the Republican-controlled Congress enacted President Bush's entire health care agenda, as many as 10 million people who lack health insurance would be covered at a cost of $102 billion over the next decade, according to his campaign aides." (Washington Post; one-time registration required)

What Happens When Stay-At-Home Moms Head Back to Work?
Excerpt: "For 'Going Back to Work: A Survival Guide for Comeback Moms,' authors Mary Quigley and Loretta Kaufman surveyed 1,000 women about the transition from mom to wage earner. TIME spoke with them about their findings: ..." (TIME Magazine)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Federal Defense of Marriage Act Upheld As Constitutional
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Washington state last week upheld the federal Defense of Marriage Act as constitutional, marking the first time a federal court has ruled on the 1996 law, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman." (Washington Times)

Employees Not Inquiring Much About Same-Sex Benefits
Excerpt: "Despite the increased coverage devoted to same-sex benefit policies, human resource departments have not had a flood of questions coming from their workforce." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Rules for Overtime Pay to Take Effect: Employers, Workers Confused
Excerpt: "After months of heated debate, a major revision, protests and an unsuccessful legislative assault, the most sweeping changes to the nation's overtime rules in more than 50 years take effect tomorrow." (Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Do We Have a Retirement Crisis in America?
Nationwide on August 23, 2004
presented by TIAA-CREF Institute

Ignoring the Noise: Investing in a Volatile Environment
Nationwide on August 23, 2004
presented by TIAA-CREF Institute

Making Retirement Income Last A Lifetime
Nationwide on August 23, 2004
presented by TIAA-CREF Institute

Recruitment, Retention and Retirement: The Three Rs of Higher Education in the 21st Century
Nationwide on August 23, 2004
presented by TIAA-CREF Institute

The FTC/DOJ Health Care Report: How Will the Agencies Administer the "Dose of Competition" they have Prescribed for the Industry?
Nationwide on September 8, 2004
presented by American Health Lawyers Association

Trends in Longevity and Implications for Retirement Planning
Nationwide on August 23, 2004
presented by TIAA-CREF Institute
Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Issues Final Rule Streamlining Registration By Investment Managers To Plans
(U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Sales Representative
for Great-West Healthcare
in AZ

Retirement Sales Director
for CitiStreet
in CA, TX

Plan Administrator
for Abacus Benefit Consultants, Inc.
in RI

Senior Benefits Administrator
for Access Retirement Services, LLC
in TN

Pension Analyst
for Long Island Employee Benefits Group, Ltd.
in NY

Administrator / Consultant
for Benefit Plans Plus, L.L.C.
in MO

Project Mgr. - Development/Implementation
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Full Charge Bookkeeper for TPA Firm
for Valley Forge Enterprises, Ltd.
in PA

Project Mgr.-Development Advice
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Vice President Retirement Resource Center
for National City
in OH

Customer Service Representative
for Great-West Healthcare
in CO

Participant Support Representative
for Decimal, Inc. (www.theonline401k.com/schwab)
in CA

Retirement Services Product Manager
for Administaff
in TX

Client Experience-Product Implementation Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

ERISA Compliance Manager
for MFS Retirement Services, Inc.
in MA

Pension Systems Analyst
for COUNTRY Insurance & Financial Services
in IL

Actuary - Valuation
for Lynchval Systems Worldwide Inc
in VA

Defined Contribution
for Lynchval Systems Worldwide Inc.
in VA

Pension Administrator
for Boyce & Associates, Inc. in Scottsdale Arizona
in AZ

Defined Benefit Pension Administrators
for Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc. in Roseville and San Diego, CA
in CA

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