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October 13, 2006
Today's sponsor: Financial Research Associates

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MADE IN AMERICA 2007: The 4th Annual Taft-Hartley Benefits Summit

MIA's mission is to provide pro-active solutions and help foster initiatives which will translate into action at the trust fund level. Our speaker faculty has empowered Trustees and Administrators for three years now and we are committed to giving funds a no-nonsense, solution-driven Summit.

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

Are Health Care Debit Cards a New Patient Privacy Risk?
Excerpt: "With a swipe of a card, patients covered by UnitedHealth Group starting next year can grant physicians access to a personal health record and pay for health care services. . . . UnitedHealth Group's card will not contain any protected health information (PHI), says Daryl Richard, a spokesperson for Exante Financial Services, the financial services arm of UnitedHealth." (Report on Patient Privacy via

Health Plans Differ on Coverage for Breast Cancer Treatment
Excerpt: "Several Blues plans last month announced they would provide coverage for partial-breast radiation therapy used to treat early stage breast cancer patients. Although at least 50 health plans cover the treatment, known as MammoSite, many insurers do not provide coverage, citing an FDA finding that the therapy does not replace standard radiation therapy." (Managed Care Week via

Health Reform: Reinventing the Wheel, Health Affairs Blog, October 12th, 2006, and Comment
Excerpt: "The American health care systems perform impressively, producing what they are designed to deliver: cost inflation, inefficiency, and inequity. [Alan Maynard writes on Porter and Teisberg's reinvention of the health care system wheel.]" (Health Affairs via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Unisys Loses Benefits Reduction Fight
Excerpt: "A federal judge has ruled that the Unisys Corp. breached its fiduciary duties by telling a dozen former workers that they could get lifetime benefits for $20 a month, but not disclosing that Unisys could change the retirees' health coverage." (; one-time registration required)

New Deals Offer Break on Generic Drug Prices
Excerpt: "Consumers are suddenly getting a break on the cost of generic drugs as discount retailers and some prescription benefit managers start programs that provide a host of popular medications at very low costs." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Wal-Mart's Generic Drug Discount Program Could Pressure PBMs to Lower Margins
Excerpt: "When Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. slashed prices on a batch of generic drugs last month, some industry observers predicted the move would reshape the $230 billion prescription drug industry." (Drug Benefit News via

Are Low-Premium High-Deductible Health Plans Better Than No Coverage at All?
Excerpt: "A few plan-design changes -- combined with better marketing strategies -- could help make health savings account (HSA)-based health coverage a more valuable tool in curbing the growing number of uninsured, some industry observers say." (INSIDE CONSUMER-DIRECTED CARE via

American Benefits Council Amicus Brief in Retiree Health Benefit Case in Supreme Court (PDF)
28 pages. Brief of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Benefits Council as Amici Curiae in support of El Paso Tennessee Pipeline Co. (American Benefits Council)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Business Executives' Attitudes Toward the Aging Workforce: Aware But Not Prepared? (PDF)
30 pages. Excerpt: "AARP recently contracted with BusinessWeek Research Services to conduct a survey of business decision makers. The purpose of the survey was to understand business executive’s views toward 50+ workers and corporate America's preparedness for the aging of the workforce." (AARP)

Overview: Disclosure Requirements Concerning Executive Compensation and Related Matters (PDF)
31 pages. Excerpt: "The SEC is taking several steps in adopting its amendments to Regulation S-K Item 402: (i) the tabular approach to named executive compensation has been retained, with additional and reorganized disclosure requirements; (ii) the SEC confirmed that all elements of compensation must be included in the tables; and (iii) the SEC new format now requires disclosure of a single figure for total compensation." (Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC)

International Headlines: Developments in Benefits, Compensation, and HR Around the World
Excerpt: "This weekly compilation of stories from wire services, newspapers, and other sources is intended to keep Mercer employees and registered visitors to informed of benefits, compensation, and HR developments around the world." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

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

IRS Employee Plans Division to Heighten Enforcement Actions Against Abusive Tax Schemes
Excerpt: "Among the EP's operating priorities are to detect and deter abusive tax schemes through accelerated enforcement actions, educational strategies and the identification of new abusive schemes. EP plans an aggressive stance toward all identified abusive tax avoidance transactions (ATAT)." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2nd Annual Consumer-Centric Health Care Congress
in District of Columbia on November 8, 2006
presented by World Congress

2nd Annual Health & Human Capital Management Congress
in District of Columbia on January 17, 2007
presented by World Congress

Care Continuum Congress
in District of Columbia on October 23, 2006
presented by World Congress

The 2nd Annual World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress
in District of Columbia on November 1, 2006
presented by World Congress

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Administrator
for Benefit Strategies, Inc.
in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PEN-CAL Administrators, Inc.
in CA

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Nyemaster, Goode, West, Hansell and O'Brien, P.C.
in IA

Pension Analyst
for BeneTrends, Inc.
in PA

Compliance Account Manager
for First Niagara Benefits Consulting
in NY

Benefits Consultant
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Retirement Plan Coordinator
for Capital Group Companies
in CA

Plan Sponsor Consultant
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Plan Sponsor Consulting Associate
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Pension Plan Administrator
for Pension Administration Firm
in PA

Manager, Department Of Eligibility
for 32 BJ Benefit Funds
in NY

Compliance Analyst
for 32BJ Benefit Funds
in NY

Benefit Specialist (Aon Corporation)
for Aon Corporation
in FL

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