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May 8, 2006
Today's sponsor: The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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Earn CE Credits-- CPAs and Attorneys

Accountants and attorneys working with multiemployer or public plans can focus on professional growth at this Institute. Current information on health and pensions will be presented exclusively for plan professionals. Topics include the actuarial function in light of funding problems, DOL initiatives, SAS update, FASB, IRS and OLMS developments, LM-10 and LM-30, prohibited transactions, and suspension of benefits. Offered along side the Trustees & Administrators Institutes. Exhibits and Sponsorships are available. For more information, visit www.ifebp.org/professionals

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

Judge Says New Hampshire Wrong to Deny Benefits
Excerpt: "The state was wrong to deny health care benefits and bereavement leave to the families of two les.bian employees, a judge ruled. New Hampshire bars g.ays and les.bians from marrying, so requiring state employees to be married to get family benefits is discriminatory, Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Kathleen McGuire ruled ...." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Law Provides No Remedy for Seeking Reimbursement of Overpaid Benefits
Excerpt: "The 6th Circuit US Court of Appeals has agreed with a disability plan participant that the law did not provide the plan administrator with a remedy to obtain reimbursement for overpaid benefits." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Comments on S. 1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006 (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The stated purpose of S. 1955 is to amend [ERISA] and the Public Health Service Act to expand health care access and reduce costs by creating small business health plans (SBHPs) and modernizing the health insurance marketplace. While this letter focuses on the potential effect on the small-group market as defined by [HIPAA] (2 to 50 lives), we have tried to consider how it affects the individual market, without reference to specific states or their laws." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Medical Insurance Co-Pays Capped for Some Tests in Connecticut
Excerpt: "Connecticut legislators capped consumers' co-payments on medical imaging tests and required insurers to disclose more to doctors about the fees they'll be paid as this year's General Assembly session ended this week." (The Hartford Courant)

Opinion: Competition and Federalism: The Right Remedy for Excessive Health Insurance Regulation
Excerpt: "The Senate will soon consider the 'Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act' (S. 1955), a proposal that is aimed at improving access to and reducing costs of health care coverage. .... A better policy, however, would promote open competition in the health care market. A robust national market can solve the problem of excessive state regulation and allow individuals and families to purchase more affordable health insurance across state lines." (The Heritage Foundation)

Opinion: Thoughts on the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act
Excerpt: "Ann Bartow (South Carolina and Feminist Law Professors) had a post the other day on the so-called Enzi bill that the Senate is considering to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses by allowing them to pool together to purchase health insurance .... As Ann ... points out, one of the lesser known parts of the bill is that under the proposed law, '[s]tates will no longer be able to mandate coverage of benefits, services, or categories of providers ....'" (Workplace Prof Blog)

Opinion: Health Savings Accounts Are Defying Critics' Dire Expectations (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "[HSAs] are being purchased by individuals with varying incomes, ages, and health statuses. In particular, HSAs have proven popular among individuals who previously lacked health insurance. This paper summarizes the basic structure of HSAs and reviews the most recent data about individuals who are purchasing the accounts." (U.S. Senate, Republican Policy Committee)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Congress Seeks to Change Civil War Law for Veterans
Excerpt: "Soldiers who survived the Civil War often fared less well with dishonest lawyers who cheated them out of pension money. Congress is now trying to do something about the backlash, lasting 140 years, that has barred veterans from hiring attorneys to help them with benefit claims." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Managing your OPEBs under GASB 45
in California on May 24, 2006
presented by Nixon Peabody LLP

Medicare Part D
Nationwide on May 12, 2006
presented by West LegalEdcenter

The Basics of 5500s
in California on May 18, 2006
presented by No. Calif. Chapter of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Assumes Pension Plan Of Jernberg Industries Inc.
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

IRS Updates Voluntary Correction Program For Retirement Plan Professionals
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

Study Indicates Link Between Employee Turnover and Retirement Plan Participation Rates
(Charles W. Cammack Associates, Inc. (CWCA))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Benefit Client Account Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

401(k) Administrator
for Creative Retirement Systems
in OH




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