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July 11, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

Don't miss the 2006 Western Benefits Conference!

The famed Bellagio Hotel is the site of this year's WBC, held July 16-19. Sponsored by the Western Pension & Benefits Conference and ASPPA, there are more than 50 educational sessions on retirement, health, welfare, fiduciary issues and more plus networking activities such as an exhibit hall, golf outing, Sunday reception and entertainment on Monday evening.

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

Text: EBSA Information Letter Regarding the Definition of 'Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement'
Excerpt: "[The DOL was asked w]hether an arrangement providing benefits to employees of the clients of a professional employer organization is a multiple employer welfare arrangement under ERISA section 3(40)." (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

The Best Medical Care in the U.S. Is at VA Facilities
Excerpt: "[I]f you want to be sure of top-notch care, join the military. The 154 hospitals and 875 clinics run by the Veterans Affairs Dept. have been ranked best-in-class by a number of independent groups on a broad range of measures, from chronic care to heart disease treatment to percentage of members who receive flu shots. It offers all the same services, and sometimes more, than private sector providers." (Newsweek via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Depression in the Workplace Costs Employers Billions Each Year (PDF)
Excerpt: "[T]his publication [is divided] into three parts: The first part outlines and quantifies the effects of workers' untreated depression; the second describes the current state of therapy; and the third covers many of the techniques and resources that employers may use to help their employees overcome their depression." (Managed Care Magazine)

Opinion: A New Dimension for Care Management--Including Prevention and Wellness
Excerpt: "There are significant challenges in improving performance in the areas of cost, quality and service. Many challenges, especially in the care management area, the core of the healthcare delivery model, lie ahead. Most payors have not obtained satisfactory results with traditional techniques." (HealthLeaders News)

How Much More Cost-Sharing Will Health Savings Accounts Bring?
Excerpt: "Proponents of health savings accounts (HSAs) believe they can reduce medical spending by making consumers more sensitive to the costs of care. [HSAs] together with high-deductible health plans should encourage consumers to make prudent treatment decisions because they are spending their own money. However, a new Commonwealth Fund-supported study finds that because of the tax subsidies accountholders receive, HSAs may actually lower effective out-of-pocket costs for some enrollees." (Health Affairs via The Commonwealth Fund)

Patients and Insurance Companies Concerned As Prices Soar for Cancer Drugs
Excerpt: "The cost of a cancer drug pres.cription rose nearly 16% last year, compared with 3% for other pres.criptions, says a June report by Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager. The average cost of a 30-day pres.cription for cancer drugs is now nearly $1,600." (USA TODAY)

Michigan Firms Get Health Coverage Cost Break for Worker Lifestyle Changes
Excerpt: "Michigan employers who reward employees for living healthier lifestyles can save an average of 10% on their health care bill under a new Blue Care Network of Michigan program. A news release said that the Healthy Blue Living program kicks off October 1 and rewards those employees being healthier in their lifestyle with lower co-payments and deductibles." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Chart: Health and Welfare (July 7, 2006) (PDF)
Excerpt: "Summary: These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

Letter to House Urges Consideration of the Health Care Choice Act (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[On July 10, 2006] 51 organizations signed a letter and sent it to the House leadership debunking misleading information and urging the leadership to consider H.R. 2355, the 'Health Care Choice Act,' sponsored by Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ)." (Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

DOL Web Site Asks, Can the Retiree Health Benefits Provided by Your Employer Be Cut?
Excerpt: " Some employees are fortunate: they belong to employer-provided health care plans that carry over to retirement. However, an important question arises for employees and retirees: How secure are my health care benefits after retirement? Under what circumstances can the company reduce or terminate my health benefits?" (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

North Carolina Health Care Plan for Retired State Workers Suffers Growing Pains
Excerpt: "Starting in December, new accounting standards will go into effect that require state and local governments to disclose their projected medical coverage costs for current and future state government retirees. North Carolina's figure right now is estimated as high as $13.5 billion...." (AP via StarNewsOnline.com)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Chart: Human Resources (July 7, 2006) (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "Summary: These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employer benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

Opinion: Molly Ivins Speaks on 'The Politics of Greed'
Excerpt: "[F]or those who have been following the collapse of the pension system, please note a series in The Wall Street Journal by Ellen Schultz taking a hard look at executive pension obligations: ..." (Truthdig)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Employee Ownership Conference
in California on March 21, 2007
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and the Beyster Institute

Consumer-Driven Health: Latest Trends and Case Study
Nationwide on July 20, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Get the Most out of your ESOP
in Washington on October 16, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

NCCMP Annual Conference 2006
in Florida on November 11, 2006
presented by National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

Pay for Performance: Love It or Hate It, Know How to Deal With It
Nationwide on September 13, 2006
presented by Deloitte

Pension Funding and Accounting Reform: Which Way Will the Wind Blow?
Nationwide on September 6, 2006
presented by Deloitte

The Retirement Plan Marketplace: Key Trends That You Can Leverage
Nationwide on July 20, 2006
presented by Deloitte


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Letter Urges Consideration of the Health Care Choice Act
(Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

About a Third of Those Married/Living with a Partner Say They Agree on What They Should Save for Retirement
(Wall Street Journal)

Business Roundtable Releases New Research That Sets the Record Straight on Executive Compensation
(Business Roundtable)

Perspective Partners Introduces TANDM-401(k)
(Metrics Partners)

Fiserv ISS and Presidium Retirement Advisers Inc. Launch New Collective Investment Funds
(Target Marketing Solutions, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Pollard & Associates, Inc.
in MD

Assistant Pension Administrator
for Pollard & Associates, Inc.
in MD

Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Consulting Associate
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Frost Brown Todd LLC
in OH

Senior Communications Consultant
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Regional Vice President - Third Party Administrator
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Regional Vice President - Third Party Administrator (CA)
for Zenith Administrators
in CA

Major Account Sales Representative
for Ceridian
in ANY STATE

Marketing & Communications Specialist
for BWD Group LLC
in NY

Account Executive
for The Principal Financial Group
in MI

Client Services Director
for The Principal Financial Group
in TN

Pension Administrator
for Hinsdale, Illinois Pension Consultant
in IL

HR Technology Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA

Manager, Employee Benefits
for MTA- New York City Transit
in NY

Manager, Cost Management and Analysis
for MTA- New York City Transit
in NY




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