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October 20, 2006
Today's sponsor: Financial Research Associates, LLC

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Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency: Strategies for Implementation & Compliance

January 24th - 25th, 2007, Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Consumer-Directed Healthcare is Requiring Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency – How Can You Best Prepare?

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

Ministry's Medical Payment Program Is Not Regulated
Excerpt: "[E]ach month, the ministry writes checks to health care providers -- totaling more than $240 million since it was founded -- to cover the medical bills submitted by its members. Roughly $57 million moved through the ministry in its latest fiscal year." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Is Flex Time an Option In Financial Services?
Excerpt: "Question: Are flexible work arrangements an option for people in investment banking, research or portfolio management jobs? It seems tricky in jobs that don't stick to a 40-hour workweek." (The Wall Street Journal Online via

Changes in Employees' Health Insurance Coverage, 2001-2005 (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "This paper examines the underlying reasons behind the decline in employer coverage among employees from 2001 to 2005. The paper finds that almost half of the decline in employer-sponsored coverage was due to a loss of employer sponsorship. Another quarter of the decline was due to lost eligibility for benefits or losing access as a dependent of another employee. The remaining quarter of the decline was due to employees not participating in the offer of coverage." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Debate Surrounding End-of-Life Health Care Costs
Excerpt: "While not the major factor driving health care spending, costs involved in sustaining patients in their final days are likely to get a closer look by both Medicare and private insurers as health costs continue to spiral and the population ages." (USA TODAY)

Open Enrollment and Free Money
Excerpt: "We'd all get more excited about open enrollment if it was called something more interesting, like maybe the Carnival of Free Stuff. That's a better description of what open enrollment -- the time when employers let their workers join, drop, or revise their benefits packages -- can mean for many workers." (The Motley Fool)

Fact Sheet: The Uninsured and Their Access to Health Care (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This fact sheet describes the characteristics of the uninsured population, the difference health insurance makes, and why there is a large uninsured population." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois Proposes Small Business Health Insurance Mandate
Excerpt: "BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois has proposed legislation that would require small businesses with between two and 50 employees to provide health insurance for workers, the Chicago Sun-Times reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

The Uninsured: A Primer (PDF)
48 pages. Excerpt: "This primer, updated with 2005 data, reviews the basic profile of the uninsured population, how they receive care, the latest trends in health insurance coverage, and what the options are for increasing coverage." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Why Did the Number of Uninsured Continue to Increase in 2005? (PDF)
21 pages. Excerpt: "This paper examines health coverage trends in 2005 and places them in the context of trends occurring since 2000. The paper concludes that despite the improving economy, the percentage of the population with employer-sponsored insurance continued to decline while the number of the uninsured continued to increase." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Numbers of Uninsured Rising, According to Reports
Excerpt: "One report found that the percentage of the population with employer-sponsored insurance continued to drop despite an upturn in the economy. Another report found that about three-fourths of the decline in coverage was due to a lack of employers offering it or ineligibility." (The Contra Costa Times; one-time registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

From Federal Register: Final Regs on Electronic Media for Benefit Notices, Elections and Consents (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "These regulations generally apply to applicable notices provided, and participant elections made, on or after January 1, 2007. . . . The participant election rules in these regulations extend the use of electronic media to the notice and election rules applicable to plans that are subject to the QJSA requirements of section 417. . . . []These regulations do not adopt the suggestion that spousal PINs be permitted in lieu of the physical presence requirement . . . ." (Internal Revenue Service)

Adopting FAS 158 — Practical Implications and Next Steps for Plan Sponsors (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "FAS 158 [Employers' Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans] requires employers to report a postretirement benefit asset for plans that are overfunded and a postretirement benefit liability for plans that are underfunded." (Towers Perrin)

Tax Expenditures and Tax Reform: Issues and Analysis (PDF)
19 pages. Excerpt: "This paper assesses the relationship between the tax expenditure lists, tax reform, and expenditure control." (The Urban Institute)

Opinion: How to Build a Better Financial Safety Net
Excerpt: "The social safety net in the United States has gradually frayed. People have less protection against financial shocks, such as job loss or huge medical bills. Economist Jared Bernstein sees the resulting shift to greater economic insecurity as creating 'you're on your own economics.'" ( via WorldNow and WATE)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Consumer Driven Health Plan Benefits, Premium Rates, and Open Enrollment
in California on November 8, 2006
presented by Healthcare Web Summit

Plan Design Workshop
Nationwide on November 29, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Pension Counseling Projects Reauthorized
(Pension Rights Center)

American Companies’ Commitment To Offering Employee Benefits Will Remain Strong Over Next Five Years
(Prudential Financial, Inc.)

New Survey Shows Public Sector Employees Question If Pension Will Be Enough When They Retire; Recognize Need to Supplement Savings

Equity Administrations Solutions Inc. (EASi) Announces Industry's First Solution for Stock Option Backdating
(Equity Administration Solutions, Inc. (EASi))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Client Relationship Manager
for The Douglas Group
in NJ, NY, PA

Sr. Benefits Analyst for Corning Incorporated
for Corning Incorporated
in NY

Pension Administrator
for Benetech, Inc.
in AZ, CA, GA, IL, TX

DC and 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Windes & McClaughry Employee Benefit Services
in CA

for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Senior Benefits Administrator
for Christopher, Smith, Leonard, Bristow & Stanell, P.A.
in FL

Senior Account Manager
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Financial Planning Marketing Director
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Senior Plan Setup Analyst
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Annual Plan Reporting Services Manager
for Vanguard
in PA

Senior Business Analyst
for Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc.
in MA

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