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July 5, 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)

Self-Funders Prepare to Battle State Health Insurance Reforms
Excerpt: "George Pantos, general counsel for the Self-Insurance Institute of America in Washington, D.C., finds it unthinkable that state mandates will weather court challenges. There is no question, he says, that such state health mandates are overruled by Section 514 of ERISA, which expressly exempts self-funded insurers who operate across state lines." (Employee Benefit News)

Decision on Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative Set for Today
Excerpt: "Healthcare advocates will decide today whether to put a question on November's ballot asking citizens if they support an even broader and more radical healthcare reform effort than the one underway on Beacon Hill." (The Boston Globe)

Few Apply for California's Paid Family Leave
Excerpt: "As California's pioneering law on paid family leave passes its second anniversary, participation in the program has remained far short of initial expectations. Fewer people applied for California's Paid Family leave, enacted July 1, 2004, in the program's second year than in its first." (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS via The Contra Costa Times; one-time registration required)

Exercise in 'Point-Counterpoint' at Recent Disease Mgmt. Meeting Showed Dramatic Swings in Views
Excerpt: "Four members of the National Managed Health Care Congress (NMHCC) Disease Management Outcomes Workgroup debated the pros and cons of six different issues before a group of knowledgeable listeners, and discovered that even in a short period, opinions could change significantly." (Managed Care Magazine)

Employees Are Target for TPA Managed Competition Model
Excerpt: "As mergers increase among health insurance carriers, competition continues to dwindle. Between 1995 and 2005, there were more than 400 mergers involving health insurers and managed care organizations, according to the American Medical Association. Further, five of the largest heath insurance companies currently cover about 60% of the market." (Employee Benefit News)

Employers Feeding Health Care Beast, Book Authors Say
Excerpt: "A new book puts it just this bluntly: Far from being victims of America's unrelenting and uncontrollable health care beast, employers, in fact, are feeding it, making it more inefficient and wasteful." (Employee Benefit News)

Disease Prevention Focus Requires New Thinking on Drugs
Excerpt: "In tandem with the consumer-driven health care groundswell, disease prevention is getting a boost in coverage and attention from employers and health care insurers. However, when it comes to drugs, what's preventive isn't always cut and dried." (Employee Benefit News)

The Financial Case for Integrating Direct Advice Programs Into Consumer-Directed Health Plans
Excerpt: "Typically there are three basic 401(k) plan decisions made by employees: How much to contribute, which investments to select, and how these investments should be allocated. In contrast, determining whether to opt into a CDHP is a considerably more complex undertaking. An employee evaluating a Health Savings Account (HSA) option, for example, faces a daunting list of decision criteria: ...." (Employee Benefit News)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Unfavorable Accounting Changes Expected for Post-Retirement Split-Dollar Plans (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "On June 15th, [the Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)] concluded that ... a split-dollar benefit that extends into post-retirement must be accrued and charged to earnings in accordance with APB 12 or FAS 106, similar to other post-retirement benefits." (Executive Benefit Solutions)

Overview: Court Opinion with Analysis of ERISA Preemption Principles
Excerpt: "Insurers and plans love ERISA for many reasons, but perhaps most because it precludes state law causes of action. Claimants who are denied benefits are unable to pursue remedies for breach of contract or bad faith, for example. They are left to recover their denied benefits, plus possibly attorney's fees and interest. No punitive or increased damages are permitted." (erisa on the web; posted by John Wood)

Deferred Compensation Programs: Section 409A -- Part II
Excerpt: "Excerpt: "[This article] addresses the impact of Section 409A on employment agreements, severance arrangements and equity compensation." (Employee Benefit News)

Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, July 2006 (PDF)
2 pages. The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee Benefits. (Milliman)

Canadian Law Ends Mandatory Retirement
Excerpt: "A law set to go into effect in Can.ada on December 12, 2006 will make it illegal for employers to mandate retirement for workers age 65 and older." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

WorldatWork Releases New Stock Options Manual
Excerpt: "A national association for compensation and benefits professionals has released a new how-to book about stock options amid an ongoing probe into alleged backdating practices. A news release from WorldatWork said the new release is the second edition of the group's Stock Options and the New Rules of Corporate Accountability text." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Protects Pensions at Victory Memorial Hospital (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Hospital Plan's Participation Jumps 32 Percent After Switching to Single-Vendor Platform
(Charles W. Cammack Associates, Inc. (CWCA))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Pension Plan Administrator
for Philadelphia Pension Consulting Firm
in PA

Advisor's Assistant
for BCG Securities
in NJ

Team Leader and Sr. Benefits Analyst
for Benefits Group WorldWide, Inc.
in CA




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