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April 4, 2006
Today's sponsor: Benefit Software Inc.

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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)

Small-Business Health Insurance Groups Likely; After Seven Flops, Senate on Verge of Acceptance
Excerpt: "A bill allowing small businesses to join each other in multi-state associations to buy health insurance has succeeded where at least seven of its predecessors have failed. Earlier this month, a U.S. Senate committee voted in favor of the 2005 bill titled 'The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act,' making it the first association health plan bill to go before the full Senate for a vote." (Arizona Daily Star via The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights)

Massachusetts Bill Requires Each Resident to Have Health Insurance
Excerpt: "Every Massachusetts resident would be required to have health insurance on July 1, 2007, under a landmark healthcare bill the Legislature could send to Governor Mitt Romney as early as today." (The Boston Globe)

Reimbursement Provision that Appeared in SPD but Not in Plan Document Was Not Enforceable
Excerpt: "This case is similar to a reimbursement case ... reported on last year ..., and it highlights the importance of making sure that the SPD is not used to try to add to the plan's terms." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Corrected Author: 'Presumption of Receipt' -- When Did Beneficiary Know about COBRA Notice Violation
Excerpt: "The terminated employee in this case had surgery the day after his group health plan coverage ended. He was not offered an opportunity to elect COBRA and consequently sued for reimbursement of his medical expenses and for statutory penalties." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Medicine Goes Mobile: The House Call Returns -- Cost Containment, Not Nostalgia, Is Behind Trend
Excerpt: "The term 'house calls' evokes a simpler time, long before anyone ever heard of managed care or even Marcus Welby, the solicitous TV doctor who flew to his patients' sides more than three decades ago. Doctors who only make house calls wax enthusiastic about escaping the financial pressure to see as many patients as possible to cover their overhead." (USA TODAY)

States Feel Less Inclined to Issue Coverage Mandates
Excerpt: "Back in 2003, when the number crunchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers did the math on health premiums, they fingered dozens of new state insurance mandates as contributing to a painful 13.7 percent spike in premiums. This year, when PwC went back to its calculators, the figure -- 8.8 percent -- still exceeded the country's inflation rate, but it was not so exceptional when PwC factored in inflation trends for technology and defensive medicine." (Managed Care Magazine)

'One Solution for the Small Health Insurance Group Market' Explains List Billing (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "If employees without employer-provided coverage were given the option to obtain coverage in the less-expensive individual market -- where about 16 million Americans currently are covered -- many would take it. Is there a model for that approach? Yes, 'list billing,' and it is something many states allow." (Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

Snapshot: Health Care Costs 101, 2006 Edition (PDF)
24 pages. Excerpt: "Now in its third edition, this presentation provides a concise, visual snapshot of national health care spending trends for use by journalists, policymakers, or anyone interested in health care cost issues. [A Quick Reference Guide is at http://www.chcf.org/documents/insurance/QuickReferenceGuide06.pdf.]" (California HealthCare Foundation)

Delaware Senate Approves Plan to Regulate Health Insurance Rates
Excerpt: "The Delaware Senate approved a measure last week that would give to the insurance commissioner's office the authority to approve the rates insurance companies charge for medical coverage, the Delaware State News reported." (The National Journal Group, Limited via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Massachusetts Lawmakers to Vote on Health Coverage Mandate
Excerpt: "Massachusetts legislators are expected to vote this week, perhaps as soon as [April 4], on legislation that would impose a tax on employers that do not offer health insurance coverage to their employees. " (Business Insurance)

Super Stores Challenge Fair Share Legislation in Court
Excerpt: "Large retailers have come out swinging against the state legislation requiring employers to spend a minimum on health care insurance for workers or pay penalties to the state, saying they will take their challenge to the Supreme Court if necessary." (Employee Benefit News)

Overview: Deadline for Retiree Drug Subsidy One-Time Payment Request is April 10 (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "[I]n order to receive this one-time payment, qualifying plan sponsors must submit all of the following four documents-- Authorized Representative Verification Form; Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Confirmation; Cost Reporting Spreadsheet; Cost Report Certification Letter." (Buck Consultants)

7.6 Million Retirees Have Employer Drug Coverage That Takes Advantage Of Medicare Part D Provisions
Excerpt: "Nearly 2 million additional beneficiaries have signed up for the Medicare Part D pres.cription drug coverage since mid-February, a 25% increase, which brings the total of those who have signed up individually over the past four months to approximately 7.2 million, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 23." (Spencer's Benefits Reports)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

'Specific Reasons' for Adverse Benefit Determination Must Be Reviewed under ERISA Claims Procedure
Excerpt: "Courts have interpreted the full and fair review requirement as calling for a 'meaningful dialogue' between ERISA plan administrators and claimants. In this case, such a dialogue was lacking because the employee was unable to respond to the insurer's new basis for its decision." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: The SEC's Proposed Proxy Disclosure Regulations (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued proposed regulations that would significantly change the current executive and director compensation, stock ownership, director independence and related-party disclosures that must be included in the proxy statements of publicly-held companies. In addition, the proposed regulations call for changes to several other executive compensation disclosures required in public filings such as Form 8-K." (Buck Consultants)

Social Security and Medicare in an Impasse Over Trustees
Excerpt: "President Bush and the Senate are at an impasse over the appointment of trustees for Social Security and Medicare, crippling the panel that supervises the two programs. This, in turn, has delayed the annual reports on the financial condition of the programs, which together account for more than one-third of all federal spending. Under federal law, the reports are supposed to be sent to Congress by April 1." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Listing of IRS Published Guidance for January 2006 - March 2006
Excerpt: "The target page links to guidance published by the Service relating to retirement plans: Treasury Regulations; Revenue Rulings; Revenue Procedures; Notices; and, Announcements." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Text: EBSA March 1, 2006, Information Letter Sent to Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner
Excerpt: "[DOL was asked w]hether a professional employer organization (PEO) and its client companies would be deemed a single employer for purposes of ERISA section 3(40) by reason of the PEO obtaining options to purchase an 80% interest in each client company." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Beginner IRA Seminar
in Georgia on May 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Illinois on September 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Georgia on October 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Maryland on October 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in California on November 13, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Key Issues Facing Boards Of Directors: The Challenge Of Executive Compensation Under The New SEC Rules
in California on April 12, 2006
presented by Directors Roundtable

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Pennsylvania on May 23, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Illinois on June 13, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Missouri on July 11, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Massachusetts on August 8, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Ohio on September 26, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Maryland on November 20, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Nevada on November 28, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Second Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on May 18, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Second Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on May 19, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

The IRA Institute - CIP
in Illinois on June 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Institute - CISP
in Illinois on June 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Online Institute 2006 - CIP
Nationwide on May 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Online Institute 2006 - CISP
Nationwide on May 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

USERRA Regulations Application to Retirement Plans
Nationwide on June 6, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Web/Telephone Seminar: 72(t) Payments
Nationwide on May 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
Nationwide on May 25, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Direct Rollovers and Other Portability Issues
Nationwide on May 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: General Traditional IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 11, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Handling IRA Legal Issues
Nationwide on May 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to 401(k) Plans
Nationwide on May 25, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Qualified Retirement Plans Part I and II
Nationwide on May 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Reporting
Nationwide on May 4, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Roth IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Helius Inc. to implement new generation of corporate training technology for JCPenney
(Helius, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Campbells Administration Inc.
in CA

Health & Welfare Client Representative
for Strategic Employee Benefit Services of New York, Inc.
in NY

Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator
for Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in FL

Retirement Plan Marketing Team Manager
for American Funds
in IN

Retirement Plan Coordinator (Conversion/Implementation Process)
for American Funds
in IN

401(k)/Defined Contribution or Defined Benefit Compliance Analyst
for National Retirement Services, Inc.
in CA

TPA DC Plans Specialist
for 401k Administrators, Inc.
in CA

Client Relationship Manager
for Swerdlin & Company
in GA

Relationship Manager
for Fidelity Investments
in TX




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