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October 16, 2006
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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)

Consumer Unease with U.S. Health Care Grows, According to Survey
Excerpt: "The U.S. health care system -- touted as providing the best medical care in the world -- is becoming more precarious to most Americans, who are rattled by rising costs, questions about quality and fears about the future." (USA TODAY)

ABC News/Kaiser Family Foundation/USA Today Health Care in America 2006 Survey
Excerpt: "This poll examines Americans' views and experiences related to health care costs and quality, as well as their attitudes toward possible policy solutions. The results are featured in a series of reports on ABC News programs, ABCNews.com, and in USA Today during the week of Oct. 15, 2006." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Massachusetts Universal Health Care: A Primer for One State's 'Play or Pay' Rule (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "This Alert reviews the key features of the Act and identifies important concerns employers should consider immediately." (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP)

Audio: Is Massachusetts a Model for Universal Health Care?
Excerpt: "About 46 million Americans don't have health insurance. Some states have stopped waiting on the federal government and put universal health care measures on their ballots. Leading the way: Massachusetts." (American Public Media)

Overview: Phoenix Health Systems' and HIMSS' U.S. Healthcare Industry HIPAA Summer 2006 Survey
Excerpt: "Most 'covered entities' have complied to some extent with most of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, but Security Rule compliance remains low among healthcare providers." (HIPAAdvisory.com / Phoenix Health Systems)

High Health Coverage Costs Drive Some Employers Outside the Law
Excerpt: "The owner of one Denver shipping company, for example, said he has forgone group coverage for his employees for several years, instead finding it cheaper to pay for workers to buy plans individually. Reimbursing workers who buy coverage individually violates Colorado insurance law, but it's cheaper and so not uncommon, insurance experts say." (The Denver Business Journal via bizjournals.com; one-time registration required)

Opinion: Employers Should Pay Their Fair Share for Health Care (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "Some claim that employer-based health insurance is on its way out -- many employers have dropped dependent coverage or have stopped offering health insurance altogether. So, why build on a model that some believe is becoming obsolete?" (Families USA)

HSAs Have Tax Benefits for Retirees
Excerpt: "[U]nder certain circumstances a 45-year-old with a family could accumulate about $170,000 by age 65. The calculations assume the health plan's deductible is $3,000 and is increased by $500 every five years, and the employee contributes an additional $1,000 per year catch-up amount (an increase over current limits) between ages 55 and 64." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Life Outside of Work Can Affect Your Hiring, Firing or Promotions
Excerpt: "[T]here is some wrangling about the legality of firing people for off-the-job behavior. In fact, 30 states and the District have statutes that limit an employer's ability to make decisions about an employee based on off-duty activities, according to Susan K. Lessack, a partner in employment and labor law at Pepper Hamilton LLP. Some statutes apply only to public-sector employees." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Should You Secure Your Health and Personal Care with Long-Term Insurance?
Excerpt: "One benefit of such insurance is that it allows you to protect property or money that you'd like to pass on to your heirs or keep for your own needs. If you end up in a nursing home without long-term insurance, you may have to use the very assets you'd like to protect to pay for your care until they are nearly gone, and Medicaid kicks in." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments: Reduction in Equity from Implementation of FAS 158 for Pensions & OPEBs of the S&P 500
Excerpt: "[The blogger has] been reading with interest Merrill Lynch's Market Impact of Pension Accounting Reform, which features an estimate of FAS 158's projected hit to equity due to come this yearend for most U.S. sponsors of pension and other postretirement retirement benefits." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Preparing for an Aging Workforce: A Focus on New Hampshire Employers
Excerpt: "Of the 826 businesses with at least three employees that responded to the questionnaire... 66 percent say its is important to retain institutional knowledge lost when employees retire or leave, but only 21 percent have a formal process in place" (AARP)

Employee Benefits Developments, September 2006 Edition, Covers Rulings, Opinions, and Cases
Excerpt: "This edition provides information on regulatory updates; tax-free medical benefits must exclude unrelated beneficiaries; federal rule blocks state taxation of nonresident partner benefits; Eighth Circuit 'pushing the envelope' on evidence of mailing COBRA notice; Seventh Circuit rules in favor of cash balance plan designs; fiduciaries did not use employee contributions for improper purposes; and, Improper notarization invalidates spousal waiver." (Hodgson Russ LLP)

Tax Urgency for Backdated (or Misdated) Stock Options: 409A Penalties Absent Action in 2006 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "On October 4, 2006, the Treasury Department and the IRS signaled their intent to apply penalties under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code to those who have received stock options or stock appreciation rights (aka SARs) that were backdated or mis-dated, granted to Section 16 reporting persons, and not subject to corrective amendments before the end of 2006." (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

Executive Compensation Consultant, Frederic W. Cook & Company, and Wealth Creation for Executives
Excerpt: "Concerns about shareholder value, corporate governance and the economic and social impact of soaring C.E.O. pay has led to mounting criticism of compensation practices across the nation." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2nd Annual Care Continuum Implementation and Cost Benefit of Workplace Weight Management Strategies
in Illinois on June 28, 2007
presented by World Congress

3rd Annual Care Continuum Innovation in the Cost-Appropriateness of Behavioral Health & Wellness
in Georgia on July 12, 2007
presented by World Congress

3rd Annual World Health Care Congress-Europe
Nationwide on March 26, 2007
presented by World Congress

4th Annual World Health Care Congress
in District of Columbia on April 22, 2007
presented by World Congress

DC Aspects of the Pension Protection Act with Ted Benna
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland

The 2nd Annual Executive Forum on Rx Benefit Management
in California on July 16, 2007
presented by World Congress

The Public Health Congress
in District of Columbia on July 16, 2007
presented by World Congress

The World Congress Leadership Summit on Medicare
in District of Columbia on May 7, 2007
presented by World Congress

World Health Care Congress - Asia
Nationwide on July 16, 2007
presented by World Congress

World Health Care Congress - Middle East
Nationwide on November 12, 2007
presented by World Congress


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

IRS Names New Head for Employee Plans Rulings & Agreements
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Actuarial Consultant
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Sr. Operations Manager
for CitiStreet
in FL

Recordkeeper
for Interactive Retirement Systems, Ltd.
in MN

Retirement Services District Manager
for ADP Retirement Services
in MO, NC, OH, PA, TX

Retirement Plan Assistant
for North Dallas Law Firm
in TX

Retirement & Investment Services Manager
for WEA Trust Member Benefits
in WI

Client Relationship Manager-Mid Market
for Great-West Retirement Services
in IL, NY, OH, TX, WI

401(k) / Profit Sharing Administrator
for Hackett Pickering & Associates, Inc.
in FL

Benefit Calculation Developer
for Vanguard
in PA




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