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

April 14, 2006
Today's sponsor: The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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.
For more information, visit

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

What Will It Take for Disease Management to Demonstrate a Return on Investment?
Excerpt: "Conclusion: A review of historical utilization trends and a number-needed-to-decrease analysis should be conducted before disease management program implementation to determine whether sufficient opportunity exists to reduce utilization to levels that will ensure a positive return on investment." (The American Journal of Managed Care)

Managed Care State Laws & Regulations, Including Consumer & Provider Protections - Updated April '06
The information is presented in seven tables: 2005 Managed Care Laws, Access to Services (2 tables), Appeals and Remedies, Provider Flexibility and Report Cards, Mandates, and Comprehensive Consumer Rights Statutes with citations. (National Conference of State Legislatures)

Health Care Consumption -- Comments on the April 10, 2006, New York Times Op-Ed
Excerpt: "Perhaps you have been wondering who or what is to blame for the high cost of medical care in this land of ours - and, more broadly, for the ungainly, unjust mess that is the American health-care system. If so, wonder no more. Your government has fingered the culprit: it's 'the vast majority of Americans.'" (The New Yorker via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Employee Obesity is Number One Factor in Productivity Loss, According to White Paper
Excerpt: "The paper not only addresses the impact of obesity on workplace productivity and medical costs, but focuses on health coaching as a way for employers to combat employees' weight issues through lifestyle intervention programs." (Insurance NewsNet)

General Motors to Spend $3 Billion on Health Fund for Retiree Health Care
Excerpt: "General Motors Corp., the world's largest private provider of health care, will report a first-quarter expense of as much as $3 billion to create a fund to pay future retiree health care costs." (Detroit Free Press)

General Motors Says UAW Deal Will Save $13B in Health Costs
Excerpt: "General Motors Corp. said [yesterday] it expects to see net cost savings of about $13 billion over six years from its health care deal with the United Auto Workers union." (Business Insurance)

Massachusetts Health Plan Seems Unlikely to Be U.S. Model
Excerpt: "[E]ven as the law to expand health insurance coverage to virtually every resident makes headlines nationwide, some executives and advocates say it is unlikely to serve as a national model." (The Boston Globe)

Comments on the New Massachusetts Health Plan -- Proceed with Caution
Excerpt: "An integral provision is the requirement that every employer with more than 10 employees - think your local automotive garage - must offer a Section 125 cafeteria plan so employees can use pre-tax money for their insurance premium contributions." (Galen Institute)

Nat. Business Group on Health Sets Up Nat. Leadership Committee on Consumer-Directed Health Care
Excerpt: "The NBGH, Washington, a coalition of large, influential employers, says the new committee will 'promote effective public policies.' The group also wants to become a source of CDH plan information, according to NBGH." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Colorado Bill Would Let Grandparents Carry Grandkids on Health Insurance
Excerpt: "HB 1346 would require employers to allow their workers to carry their grandchildren as dependents and pass on the additional costs to the employee. The bill does not cover federal employees, self-insured employers or companies that purchase coverage from an out-of-state health plan." (Rocky Mountain News via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

New York Ruling, Issued March 27, Applies to Health Plans Governed by ERISA
Excerpt: "Two weeks ago, the New York State Insurance Department quietly issued a decision barring insurance companies and health-maintenance organizations from writing discretionary clauses into their group benefit policies. Discretionary clauses offer health and disability insurers wide latitude to decide whether an insured employee deserves coverage following an illness or injury. Employee advocates have long argued that insurers wield this advantage to deny claims." (Long Island Business News)

AARP Says It Opposes Enzi Bill that Would Allow Small Businesses to Form Association Health Plans
Excerpt: "AARP last week said it opposes a bill (S 1955) introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) that would allow small businesses to form association health plans under certain conditions, The Hill reports ...." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Chart of State-Mandated Benefits for Contraceptives
Updated April 1, 2006. ( from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Report Hits New York's Health Care Bill
Excerpt: "An economist's report states that New York state would lose up to 100,000 jobs, and businesses would take a $9.2 billion hit under the proposed Fair Share for Health Care Act. According to research sponsored by the Employment Policies Institute, the policy would ignore more than 83 percent of the uninsured in New York." (Business First of Buffalo via; one-time registration required)

Economist's View: The 'Fair Share for Health Care Act' and New York's Labor Market
Excerpt: "I describe the major legislative provisions of the health insurance mandate, along with the likely economic impact.... Next, I document current health insurance arrangements in New York.... Lastly, I assess the possible labor market adjustments." (Employment Policies Institute)

The Long-Term Uninsured in America, 2000-2003: Estimates for the U.S. Population under Age 65 (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "Using information from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC) for 2002 and 2003, this Statistical Brief provides detailed estimates for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized non-elderly (under age 65) population that was uninsured for the entire 2000-2003 period and identifies groups most at risk of lacking any coverage over that four-year period." (U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Newsletter: Employee Benefits Developments, March 2006
Topics include 'The DOL issues two new FMLA opinion letters,' 'New York City's Equal Benefits Law found invalid,' 'Wal-Mart can't 'wrap',' 'Participants not bound by arbitration clause between investment manager and plan,' and 'Error-prone COBRA notice procedures costly to employer." (HodgsonRuss)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 Spring Summit "Keeping Your Head Above Water in the Employee Benefits Ocean"
in California on May 9, 2006
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Los Angeles Chapter

Code Section 409A Workshop
Nationwide on June 7, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Legislative Update
in Massachusetts on April 26, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council (ABC) of New England

New - Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans
Nationwide on June 7, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

SEC Executive Compensation Update: New Proxy Disclosure Rules and Practices
in District of Columbia on May 19, 2006
presented by BNA, Inc.

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

S&P Releases Latest Index Versus Active Fund Scorecard
(Standard & Poor's)

USW Wins Lifetime Health Care and Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Thousands of American National Can Co. Retirees
(United Steelworkers)

Most Americans Fail to Make the Grade When Tested Beyond the 'ABC's' of Financial Literacy
(Northwestern Mutual)

Health Care, Union Coalition Issues Call to Arms Against Small Business Health Plan Legislation
(American Chiropractic Association)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

for Veritude, A Fidelity Investments Company
in MA

Analyst - Contract position
for Veritude, A Fidelity Investments Company
in MA

Trust Operations Manager
for Trust Company of Illinois
in IL

Associate Healthcare Compliance Analyst (Supervisor)
for Great-West Corporate
in CO

for Guidant Financial Group, Inc
in WA

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.