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June 14, 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)

Overview: Maryland's Fair Share Health Care Law (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "On January, 12th, 2006, Maryland's much-anticipated Fair Share Health Care (FSHC) bill became law. That was the day that the Maryland legislature voted overwhelmingly to override the governor's May 2005 veto of the legislation. Maryland thus became the only state -- with the exception of Hawaii and Massachusetts -- to require large employers to either pay a share of their payroll toward their employees' health insurance or pay into a state fund to expand coverage." (Families USA Foundation)

Implementing Employee Wellness Programs: Pitfalls and Practical Tips (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[M]any employers increasingly are creating wellness programs to keep employees healthy and reduce costs. Sometimes these wellness programs focus on employees with specific health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. In other instances, an employer wants to incentivize employees to get a physical examination or participate in a health risk assessment." (Dechert LLP)

Check Your Health Plan for Yearly, Internal Limits, Experts Say
Excerpt: "Out-of-pocket maximums aren't always easy to decipher or compare because some plans count the deductible in the tally while others don't. Excluding deductibles, the median out-of-pocket maximum rose 10% to $1,650 in 2005 from $1,500 in 2003 among 975 employer clients surveyed by benefits consultant Hewitt Associates, said Johan DeKeyzer, principal in Hewitt's health-management practice in Newport Beach, Calif." (

Aetna to Offer Consumers Information Online
Excerpt: "Aetna Inc. soon will provide online access to physician-specific cost, clinical quality and efficiency information in more states as part of its ongoing price transparency effort to help consumers make better informed health care decisions." (Business Insurance)

Overview: Supreme Court Allows ERISA Plan to Bring Suit to Recoup Payments under § 502(a)(3) (PDF)
Excerpt: "In a recent unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court has held that an ERISA fiduciary may bring suit under ERISA § 502(a)(3) seeking reimbursement of medical payments it had made on behalf of its beneficiary where the beneficiary has received a tort settlement from a third-party on the same incident." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

A Teleweb Excerpt: Medicare Part D -- 2006 and Beyond and the Options for Employers
Excerpt: "In this excerpt, the speaker describes alternatives for providing post-retiree pres.cription drug coverage, and identifies which plan sponsors are likely to choose alternatives to the federal subsidy. Data from a recent survey on how employers are currently working with Medicare Part D is reviewed." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Engaging Key Stakeholders in Health Improvement Programs
Excerpt: "At first glance, effectively engaging employees while satisfying a numbers-driven financial team may seem like incompatible goals. After all, company cost savings aren't exactly a motivating call to behavior change for employees. And when budgets get tight, dollars invested in a health improvement program start to look a lot like low-hanging cost-saving fruit to many CFOs." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Doctors Push Mandatory Health Insurance
Excerpt: "At its annual meeting in Chicago on Tuesday, the nation's largest doctors' group called for mandatory health insurance for anyone who makes more than five times the poverty level. That works out to $49,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a family of four." (Chicago Sun-Times)

Lack of Action on Creation of Single-Payer Health Care System Hurting U.S. Auto Industry
Excerpt: "Gettelfinger also said that UAW agreements last year to make health benefit concessions to GM and Ford were difficult for him but necessary to address the large retiree health benefit liabilities of the companies and to protect future benefits." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Backdating of Options Might Spur New Rules
Excerpt: "Regulators may not yet be finished with the string of rules affecting how companies determine and disclose executive compensation, thanks to the recent scandal involving companies that have allegedly backdated their stock option grants to executives." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Stock Option Questions May Hit Close to Home (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The backdating of stock option grants by public companies continues to be a focus of news stories and law enforcement investigations. What initially appeared to be an issue associated with some technology companies may in fact be more widespread, possibly extending to hundreds of companies." (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)

Insurers May Pay for Misuse of Stock Options
Excerpt: "Insurers providing liability insurance to corporate directors and officers may have to pay for legal expenses -- and perhaps even multimillion-dollar damage awards -- for company officers that manipulated stock options to benefit their managers, industry executives said." (Reuters via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

SEC to Clarify Rules on Lucrative -- and Potentially Abusive -- Backdating of Options
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission is to issue a statement, possibly as early as next month, clarifying the agency's view of when current law allows backdating of stock options -- picking a date when the stock was at a low point to be the date of the award, thereby immediately guaranteeing a profit." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

HMO Rate Increases Continue to Decline for Fourth Consecutive Year, According to Hewitt Associates
(Hewitt Associates LLC)

Statement of PBGC Acting Executive Director on U.S. District Court Decision Concerning United Airlines Pilots' Pension Plan
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Compliance Team Analyst
for Administaff
in TX

Global Compensation Consultant
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Legal Consultant
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Health Benefits Analyst
for Segal Company
in NY

Paraplanner & Retirement Plan Specialist
for Jones & Roth, PC
in OR

Benefits - COBRA / FSA Administrator
for CheckPoint HR
in NJ

New: Exclusive In-House Employee Benefits Counsel Opportunity - Heathrow, Florida
for McCormack Schreiber Legal Search Inc.
in FL

Business Analyst - Outsourced Benefits Administration
for Workscape
in ID, MA

Project Manager
for Workscape
in ID, MA

Sr Pension Analyst - Retirement Plan Services
for T. Rowe Price
in MD

Defined Contribution Consultant
for Mercer Human Resource Consulting
in DC

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