Welfare Plans
To BenefitsLink home page Fill your job openings fast by advertising on BenefitsLink

January 27, 2006
Today's sponsor: Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Explore the Seven Wonders of the Benefits Compliance World

No HR or benefits professional's library would be complete without EBIA's compliance manuals. Save time and steer clear of compliance traps by joining thousands of professionals who rely on our manuals.

"I know I can rely on your manuals, above and beyond any others, to be clear, concise, easy to understand, and accurate!" -Director of Flexible Benefits

(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Wall Street Journal Looks at Tools that Identify Low-Cost Care Options
Excerpt: "The Wall Street Journal [yesterday] looked at efforts by insurers to provide patients with tools - including a cell phone Web browsing service - to help them find low-cost treatment options." (California HealthCare Foundation)

Opinion: Pirates of the Health Care-Ibbean Music Video
Excerpt: "Hear the Austin Lounge Lizards' new song 'Go Ahead & Die' in the music video by Powerhouse Animation." (The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights)

Maryland's 'Fair Share Health Care' Act -- Potential Forerunner of Broader Employer Mandate (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "With an override of Governor Robert Ehrlich's veto, the State of Maryland has become the first to require certain large employers to pay a specified amount of payroll on health care, or pay the difference into a state fund." (HR Policy Association)

Patients Quicker to Switch to Generic Drugs
Excerpt: "A new analysis confirms that workers are saving money by switching more rapidly to generic drugs as they appear on the market, a trend that may provide hope for HR professionals struggling to hold down corporate medical expenses." (BenefitNews Connect)

Enrollment Triples in Plans Offering Health Savings Accounts
Excerpt: "Enrollment in high-deductible insurance plans that qualify for contributions to tax-sheltered health savings accounts ... tripled to 3 million people in the last 10 months, the health insurance industry reported Thursday. 'This is a very significant success story,' said Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for companies that underwrite virtually all such plans." (Los Angeles Times via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

CAHI Releases New Publication '2006 State Legislators' Guide to Health Insurance Solutions' (PDF)
52 pages. Excerpt: "The Guide helps state legislators understand why health insurance premiums have been rising and provides solutions that would increase access to affordable health coverage." (Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

Christian Science Monitor Examines Three Bush Health Care Proposals
Excerpt: "The Christian Science Monitor on Friday examined three 'key components' of the health care proposals that President Bush likely will announce on Tuesday in his State of the Union address. The Monitor outlines the positives and negatives of expanded use of health savings accounts, increased tax breaks for individuals who purchase their own health insurance, and improved availability of health care price information." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Savings Accounts for Health Costs Attract Wall Street Firms
Excerpt: "Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Fidelity Investments and hundreds of others are hoping to capitalize on the latest wrinkle in medical care paid by consumers: health savings accounts, which have been around since 2003 but are moving to the fore of the national agenda in anticipation of the State of the Union address on Tuesday." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes (PDF)
35 pages. Excerpt: "This booklet outlines ten steps for building a driver safety program in your workplace. These steps will be useful to any organization regardless of size of the organization, type of traffic encountered, number of vehicles involved, or whether employees drive company or personal vehicles for work purposes." (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Network of Employers for Traffic Safety/Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Working Paper: Policies to Promote Labor Force Participation of Older People (PDF)
62 pages. Excerpt: "Combine the retirement income crunch with the dramatic increase in life expectancy, and continued employment in later life appears like a promising option for ensuring the financial security of older Americans. .... This paper explores the potential supply of and demand for older workers and looks at some proposals to help increase the labor force participation of this group." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

SEC's Spotlight on Executive Pay: Will It Make a Difference?
Excerpt: "[T]he Securities and Exchange Commission on January 17 took the first step toward adopting rules to better show shareholders how much their top executives and directors are paid. .... Disclosure would include the values of stock options, retirement and severance plans and perks worth over $10,000, all of which are difficult or impossible to assess currently." (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Brief: Health Problems and Job Layoffs Crack Retirement Nest Eggs (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Health, employment, and marital shocks can have serious financial consequences -- out-of-pocket health bills, reduced earnings, disrupted retirement saving -- forcing people as young as 50 or 60 to dip into their nest eggs." (Urban Institute)

Financial Consequences of Health Problems, Marital Status Changes, and Job Layoffs at Older Ages (PDF)
42 pages. Excerpt: "This report examines different types of negative events that strike at older ages. The study reports the prevalence of health problems among adults age 51 to 61 and those age 70 and older. It then computes the incidence of widowhood, divorce, job layoffs, disability, nursing home entry, and various medical conditions over time and examines their impact on wealth and income." (Urban Institute)

Overview: Labor Department Clarification of Employers' LMRDA Reporting Obligations (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Early last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its intentions to begin enforcing certain filing requirements under the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. Under the LMRDA, both employers and unions must report when anything of value is given to a labor organization or its representatives. Employers must report transactions on a DOL Form LM-10 and unions must report such transactions on a DOL Form LM-30." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 National Health Policy Conference
in District of Columbia on February 6, 2006
presented by AcademyHealth

Compensation - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on February 9, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Roth - The Pieces Are Coming Together
Nationwide on February 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

U.S. Defined Contribution Plans Overview Program
in New York on April 26, 2006
presented by Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers (SPARK)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Enhances Web-Based "e-4010" Application
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Health & Welfare Consultant
for Towers Perrin

Employee Benefits Conversion Specialist II
for Union Bank of California
in CA

Financial Services Operations Manager
in MI

ESOP Corporate Associate
for Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple, PC.
in RI

Retirement Plan Processing Specialist
in MI

Head of Employee Benefit Operation & Underwriting
for ING U. S. Financial Services
in MN

Compensation & Benefits Manager
for RCR Companies
in CA

Manager of 401(k) Daily Valuation Plans Group
for Alliance Benefit Group-MidAtlantic, LLC
in MD

Sr. Retirement Plan Consultant - 401(k) Representative
in VA

Client Services Associate
for Brady Ware
in OH

Handy Links:

Copyright 2006, Inc.; except that you may reprint this newsletter in full (including this sentence) without obtaining our permission.

Published by:, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

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