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October 17, 2006
Today's sponsor: Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans

In Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans, EBIA's experts analyze record retention requirements for ERISA health and welfare plans as well as other employer-provided health and welfare benefits not subject to ERISA. You'll find answers to your record retention questions for many benefits including cafeteria plans, DCAPs, qualified transportation plans, HSAs, group health plans (like major medical, dental, health FSAs, and HRAs), and other ERISA benefits.

Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans is available now at the introductory price of $195.
Please enter priority code BL195. For more information and to order, visit http://www.ebia.com/OtherOfferings/Books/RecordRetention.


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

Overview of Final Regulations Implementing the Massachusetts Fair Share Premium Contribution
Excerpt: "In assessing whether an employer makes a Fair and Reasonable Premium Contribution, the final regulation establishes two tests -- a primary test and a secondary test. If an employer passes either test for a year, then it has no obligations to make any fair share contributions to the Commonwealth." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

IRS Explains Differences Among Mileage Rates for Medical, Business, and Other Purposes
Excerpt: "Three Information Letters recently issued by the IRS explain why the standard mileage rate for medical expenses is so much lower than the rate for business expenses." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Wellness Programs Work, But Beware Legal Landmines
Excerpt: "[E]mployers should be aware that some wellness programs can run afoul of federal and state laws in terms of reasonable accommodation, privacy, confidentiality of personal health information, and protection of off-duty conduct." (Business & Legal Reports, Inc.)

Employer Liable for Failure to Disclose Health Care Network Information
Excerpt: "The California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has held that an employer is liable for an employee's out-of-network medical costs since it failed to inform him of its medical provider network system." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Court Lets Claim for COBRA Coverage Continue Where Date of Qualifying Event Was in Dispute
Excerpt: "In a short opinion based on limited facts, the court determined there was an issue whether a qualifying event (the employee's termination) had occurred in November 2004 or November 2005 and denied the county's motion to dismiss." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Participant Benefit Assignments Do Not Foreclose Hospital's State Law Claims Against Health Plan
Excerpt: "While seemingly simple in concept, suits by healthcare providers against health plans for payment for services rendered to ERISA plan participants have been troubling to federal courts. For example, while providers routinely obtain assignment of benefits from plan participants, courts have struggled with whether such assignments should elevate providers to claimant status under 29 U.S.C. 1132(a)." (Health Plan Law)

Lack of Use of National Provider Identifier Vexes Insurers; Transition Period Requested
Excerpt: "Although health plans are further along in complying with the National Provider Identifier (NPI) than are providers, a group advising HHS on NPI policy is calling for a six-month transition period that would allow providers to continue submitting legacy IDs in addition to their NPIs until November 2007." (MANAGED CARE WEEK via AISHealth.com)

Health Information Technology in the United States: The Information Base for Progress (PDF)
84 pages. Excerpt: "This report aims to improve the collection of data on EHR adoption among physicians, group practices and hospitals. The report first reviews existing data sources, including ongoing national surveys and one-time or regional studies. It then recommends a coordinated, systematic national approach to measuring EHR dissemination and implementation that builds on past data collection activities." (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

New York State Insurance Department Proposes Health Risk Allocation Program
Excerpt: "The New York State Insurance Department has come up with a proposal for a new system for helping individual and small group health insurers cover the sickest patients. . . . New York has shut down the old risk-adjustment mechanism, a 'market stabilization' pool, and it hopes to have a simpler, more consistent mechanism in place by 2007, officials say in a statement discussing the design for the proposed risk-pooling program." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Understanding the American Public's Health Care Priorities: A 2006 Perspective
Excerpt: "Americans' top health care concerns are mostly related to economic insecurity: rising costs and the problems of the uninsured. . . . Although most Americans do not think that the health system is in crisis, the public remains dissatisfied with both the country's health care and public health systems." (Health Affairs)

Comments and Presentation on the Role of States in Achieving a High Performance Health System
The target page has a link to the PowerPoint charts used at the October 16 keynote presentation given at the National Academy for State Health Policy annual conference by the president of The Commonwealth Fund, Karen Davis. (The Commonwealth Fund)

Opinion: The Way to Better, Cheaper Health Care -- Don't Make It a Human Right
Excerpt: "The solution is less, not more, government involvement in healthcare. Market forces have consistently lowered the cost and improved the quality and accessibility of food - which is at least as important to human survival as is healthcare. There's no reason markets can't do the same for healthcare." (The Christian Science Monitor via BlueCross BlueShield Association)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Second Circuit Defers to SEC in Determining How to Distribute Funds Under Sarbanes-Oxley (PDF)
Excerpt: "The Second Circuit's opinion also highlights the tension between the priority assigned to claims under the Bankrup.tcy Code and the SEC's broad discretionary authority under the Fair Funds provision. The Second Circuit's decision effectively resolves that tension in favor of the SEC by providing that the SEC does not have to follow the Bankrup.tcy Code's claim priorities when developing a distribution plan." (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

Extensive Overview of Tabular Disclosure of Executive Compensation (PDF)
21 pages. Excerpt: "This legal alert specifically addresses general information regarding the revisions to the tabular disclosure rules for executive compensation." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Old Stock Options Still Haunt an Insurer
The article examines the granting of stock options at UnitedHealth Group. (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview of Equity Compensation Design: Market-Based Restricted Stock
Excerpt: "One particularly attractive feature of market-based restricted stock is that it generally has a significantly lower grant date fair value than restricted stock that is subject to only service vesting conditions." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Survey Says Companies Scaling Back on Equity Awards
Excerpt: "Companies are scaling back on equity compensation awards and stock options and are not filling the gap with other types of incentive compensation, according to a recent survey of mid-sized employers." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Benefits Boot Camp
in Ohio on November 9, 2006
presented by Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB) - Cleveland Chapter

Cash Balance Plans: Back on the Table
Nationwide on October 17, 2006
presented by Business Insurance Magazine

Legislative Update
in District of Columbia on November 14, 2006
presented by Capital Chapter ISCEBS

The Pension Protection Act 2006-- Planning for small businesses under the act.
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by Executive Benefits Design Group

Trends in Transparency: SEC Disclosure Requirements and 409A Update
in Ohio on October 19, 2006
presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network) Cleveland Chapter


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Consultant 401(k)
for Qualified Benefits, Inc - QBI (a wholly owned subsidiary of BenefitStreet, Inc.)
in CA

Sr Account Manager, Regional Services (Defined Contribution Plans)
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Integrated Benefits/BOL/SDB/Small Business Project Mgr.
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Training Specialist
for Defined Contribution Retirement Plans
in VA

Adjustment Specialist
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Team Leader for the Research and Adjustment Department
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Principal Analyst
for University of California
in CA

Regional Vice President - Carolinas
for BISYS Retirement Services
in NC, SC, VA

Regional Vice President
for BISYS Retirement Services
in ANY STATE

Client Service Manager
for Mammini Company
in CA

Senior Administrative Analyst
for University of California
in CA

Senior Benefits Administrator
for Milliman, Inc.
in WA

Retirement Plan Consulting Manager
for Invesmart, Inc.
in TX

Plan Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY




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