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April 25, 2006
Today's sponsor: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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Banner ad for International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Convenient, affordable training courses from the International Foundation

Ideal for those new to benefits and compensation, courses include
  • Introduction to Retirement Plans
  • Introduction to Health Care and Group Benefit Plans
  • Introduction to Compensation
Developed by industry professionals, courses can be taken at any time from any computer within a six-month period. Content is updated continuously. These courses are an ideal way to economically train your support staff.

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

Conference Materials: Ideas for Making Health Insurance More Affordable for Small Businesses
Includes extensive materials on pending association-sponsored health plan legislation. (Alliance for Health Reform)

Personal Debt Can Drive Employees to Distraction
Excerpt: "Employers are beginning to realize the negative effect that debt can have on their workforces, and many are taking action by offering financial education programs." (Workforce Management)

Employer Health Plans Can Leak Dollars When TPAs Err
Excerpt: "Health-claims processors routinely cost employers thousands of dollars by letting overpayments slip by, asserts a recent report by a benefits consulting firm." (

Overview: Medicare Part D 'Creditable Coverage' Model Notices Updated
3 pages. Excerpt: "In its new guidance, CMS has not changed the simplified method of determining creditable coverage, but has clarified the definition of an integrated plan entitled to use the alternative simplified method of determining creditable coverage." (Aon)

Forge Your Way Through the Medicare Drug Maze
Excerpt: "Some 12 million Americans eligible for Medicare's new drug insurance program have yet to enroll, and the deadline for doing so without incurring a penalty-- May 15-- is less than three weeks away." (New York Times; one-time registration required)

Employer to Provide Free Diabetes Medicine in Order to Control Costs
Excerpt: "The program, a two-year experiment, will cover about 2,000 people and is an effort to fend off the worst complications of a disease that is one of the leading causes of death in the United States." (AP via Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Employers Urge Clear Writing on Pres.criptions
Excerpt: "[A] campaign to make doctors write legibly is being launched Wednesday by the Florida Health Care Coalition, a group representing some of the biggest employers in the state, such as FPL Group Inc. and the Palm Beach County School District.... Poor penmanship is responsible for an estimated 6 percent of hospital medication errors, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality." (

Makers of Generics Being Paid to Drop Patent Challenges
Excerpt: "Brand-name drug companies have resumed the practice of slowing the sale of cheaper generic competitors by cutting deals that result in paying millions of dollars to makers of generic drugs while consumers continue to pay brand-name prices." (Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Lucent Retirees Fight to Keep Benefits After Merger
Excerpt: "U.S. companies aren't required by law to maintain retiree health benefits. Lucent, responding to a plunge in its earnings and stock price, in the past six years cut dental and vision insurance and raised drug co-payments for retirees." (Bloomberg News via [Morris County NJ] Daily Record)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text of CFO Trade Group Comments to SEC on Proposed Executive Pay Disclosure Rules (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Under the proposed rules, there is the possibility that some compensation would be double counted.... [T]here can be double counting of option and restricted stock awards." (Financial Executives International)

Minnesota Attorney General Keeps Heat on UnitedHealth
Excerpt: "Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, stepping up his attack on huge stock options at UnitedHealth Group Inc, urged pension funds to withhold votes for four directors seeking re-election to the health insurer's board next month, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday." (Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Text of DOL Semiannual Regulatory Agenda (PDF)
47 pages. Includes regulations of the Employee Benefits Security Administration in the prerule, proposed rule and final rule stages as well as 'long-term action' projects. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Plan Loans - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on May 23, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Software's Fringe Facts® Communicator 7.0 Introduces "FastFacts" Setup Wizard: Speeds Deployment of Employee Benefit Statements for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
(Benefit Software Inc.)

Interested in More Advice, Employees Call for Improved Benefits Communications Based on Life Stage

Aetna Disability Claims Analysis Shows Connection Between Depression and Increased Disability Durations

New Online Course Helps Prevent Smoking-Gun E-Mails in the Workplace
(Interactive Employment Training, Inc.)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Employee Benefits Associate
for Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP
in IL

Processing Specialist, Non-Qualified Retirement Plans
for The Newport Group, Inc. (Charlotte, NC location)
in NC

Retirement Plan Administrator
for MVP Plan Administrators Inc
in NC

Operations Delivery Leader
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

Retirement Services Shared Resource Center Conversion Specialist
for SunTrust Banks, Inc.
in GA

Manager, Benefits & Payroll
for United States Golf Association
in NJ

Death Claims Processor
for Laborers' National Pension Funds
in DC

Handy Links:

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

Published by:, Inc.
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Fax: (407) 644-2151

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