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April 11, 2006
Today's sponsor: The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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Experience a rich tradition in quality education

Join hundreds of trustees and administrators at these highly-focused, long-running institutes. Three side-by-side institutes-- Advanced Trustees, Administrators and New Trustees-- will get updated information on the trends and legislation impacting multiemployer plans. Health care, prescription drug, pension plan, Medicare Part D, communication and disaster preparedness are among the session topics. This program is offered along side the Benefit Plan Professionals Institute for attorneys and accountants. Exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available.
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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)

Employers Push White House to Disclose Medicare Cost and Quality Data
Excerpt: "Employers want to use the data to compare and rate doctors and to rein in soaring health costs -- the very purpose advocated by the president. The data would show, for example, which doctors performed the most knee operations with the fewest complications. Employers said they could then compare the average cost per case for different doctors. And they could steer patients -- workers, and retirees and their dependents -- to doctors who achieved the best results and offered the best value." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Massachusetts Health Insurers Are Cautious About New State Reform Bill
Excerpt: "Massachusetts health insurers are withholding wholehearted support or condemnation for the groundbreaking reform bill enacted April 4 by the state legislature until implementation details are made available." (MANAGED CARE WEEK via

Editorial: Health Benefits Rival Pension Fund Shortfalls
Excerpt: "A numbing barrage of reports have highlighted how states and cities are under funding their legally mandated pension funds for retirees - clerks to judges, firefighters to teachers." (The Hartford Courant; one-time registration required)

The Diabetes Pilot Program, Called Driving DCX, May Cut Health Costs for Chrysler
Excerpt: "The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG hopes that in health care -- as in manufacturing -- if it gives employees the tools to focus on quality, its costs will come down." (Detroit Free Press)

Privacy Concerns Delay Action on Health Information Technology Legislation
Excerpt: "Witnesses and lawmakers at a House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing on [April 6] urged the House to act on a bill (HR 4157) that would encourage the adoption of health information technology, CQ HealthBeat reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Manufacturer Prices of Brand Name Pres.cription Drugs Used by Older Americans-- 2005 Year-End (PDF)
18 pages. Excerpt: "This Data Digest describes changes in the prices charged by pres.cription drug manufacturers in 2005 for the brand name pres.cription drugs most widely used by Americans age 50 and older. This report is part of an ongoing series of studies monitoring changes in drug manufacturer prices." (AARP)

Executives See Link between Wellness Measures and Workforce Health
Excerpt: "A majority of executives participating in a recent survey who report that the health status of their workforce has improved over the last 24 months also say their company has offered employee health incentives and health quality information." ( one-time registration required)

WSJ Examines State Legislation to Extend Dependency Eligibility Age for Health Insurance
Excerpt: "The Wall Street Journal [today] examined how a 'growing number of states are passing laws requiring health insurers to cover children under their parents' plans well into adulthood.' Most private health insurers end dependency eligibility at age 19, with the eligibility in some cases extended to age 22 or 23 for full-time students." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Health Insurance Mandate Would Face Obstacles in California
Excerpt: "California lawmakers this year are considering a number of health care bills that aim to reduce the number of uninsured residents, including two bills that are similar to legislation recently passed in Massachusetts that would require people to have health insurance or pay penalties, the Sacramento Bee reports." (California HealthCare Foundation; one-time registration may be required)

Fill Out The 2006 Health Coverage Survey
Excerpt: "Spencer's Benefits Reports is now collecting information for its 2006 Health Coverage Survey, including consumer-driven health care (CDHC) and COBRA continuation coverage. Survey forms are available online (visit to complete the survey)." (Spencer's Benefits Reports)

As Growth in HSA Market Skyrockets, Health Insurers and Banks Are Simultaneously Partners and Rivals
Excerpt: "[I]nsurers are seeking to leverage their healthcare expertise and customer connections for all they're worth, and banks are moving to avoid a repeat of the opportunities missed at the emergence of the IRA and 401 (k), which were treated merely as depository instruments and not vehicles for further investment." (Insurance & Technology)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Congressional Proposal would Limit Bankrupt Company Executive Compensation Plans
Excerpt: "Companies in US Bankrup.tcy Court reorganization would have to seek court approval of any executive compensation package, such as stock option grants, before implementing them under a new bill introduced in Congress." ( one-time registration required)

Watson Wyatt Comments on the SEC's Proposed Compensation Disclosure Regulations
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt believes that the SEC's proposal represents a vast improvement in corporate disclosures. In the interest of further improvements, however, we submitted recommendations to the SEC that we believe would enhance corporate stakeholders' understanding of companies' compensation practices and how they tie to corporate results." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Pensions at the Top
Excerpt: "April 10 closes the comment period for the SEC's proposed rule about executive compensation reporting. As we await the final version, we have some indication about what lies ahead. According to the Wall Street Journal ('Adding It All Up' by Joann S. Lublin, April 10, 2006), directors are shocked to learn how much C-level executives are really making." (Pension Risk Matters)

Mercer Survey Shows More Pay for Performance Schemes for CEOs
Excerpt: "A survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting of recently filed corporate proxy statements shows that CEO pay and corporate performance are closely aligned." ( one-time registration required)

DOL Advisory Council to Meet; Will Determine Topics to Be Addressed in 2006
Excerpt: "[T]he 133rd open meeting of the full Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans will be held on May 5, 2006." (U.S. Department of Labor)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

ERISA Litigation Forum: Executive Severance Litigation
Nationwide on May 2, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Software Inc. Helps Communicate the Value of Employee Benefits
(Benefit Software Inc.)

The SPARK Institute Files Comment with SEC on Redemption Fee Rule
(Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers (SPARK))

Workplace Options Announces Acquisition of, Inc.
(Workplace Options)

CitiStreet Rolls Out Multi-Domain Service With American Family

Pearl Meyer & Partners Issues Commentary on SEC's Proposed Rules on Executive Compensation and Related Party Disclosure
(Pearl Meyer & Partners)

Institute for Health Freedom: What Every American Should Know about the Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance Legislation
(Institute for Health Freedom)

NAR Launches National Ad Campaign To Push For Small Business Health Plan Legislation
(National Association of Realtors)

Average Investor Does Not Understand Importance of Mutual Fund Fees in Investment Decisions Finds Yale School of Management Study
(Yale School of Management)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Administrative Accountant 2 (Defined Contribution Analyst)
for First Mercantile
in TN

Senior Benefits Administrator (Sr. HR Rep.)
for Aerojet - Sacramento
in CA

Benefits Administrator- Orlando, FL
for Tews Company
in FL

Benefits Specialist
for Watson Wyatt
in CT

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