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October 26, 2006
Today's sponsor: Financial Research Associates, LLC

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Banner ad for Financial Research Associates, LLC

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)

New Resource: ERISA and Employee Benefits Search of the Web's Best Articles and Sites
The ERISA and Employee Benefits Search of the Web's Best Articles and Sites is our new, customized search engine specifically designed for employee benefits professionals. It's powered by Google.com, and searches only the most important, thorough and timely articles and sites that have been handpicked by the editors at BenefitsLink.com over the past 10 years. If your job involves employee benefit plan compliance, administration, design and policy, the new search engine is for you! (BenefitsLink.com)

PBMs Keeping Up with Wal-Mart with Generic Drug Price Offerings
Excerpt: "In keeping pace with Wal-Mart and the large discount stores, Medco Health Solutions has created a program that provides small to mid-size businesses a 90-day supply of generic drugs for a $10 copay." (The Advisor)

Wal-Mart Expands Drug Plan to 12 More States
Excerpt: "The company now offers the program in 27 states. New states added are: Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota and Virginia." (AP via Houston Chronicle)

American Workers Can't Afford Unpaid Leave, According to Survey
Excerpt: "It appears there truly is no rest for the weary. A recent survey from the LIFE Foundation reveals that although many American workers want to take more time off for vacation, but admit they can't afford to. Nearly 70% of workers say they could only afford to take one month or less of unpaid leave before the reality of paying bills kicks in, according to the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group." (BenefitNews Connect)

Managed Care Pharmacists See Formulary Design and Disease Management as Top Issues
Excerpt: "[E]lectronic health information technology (e-HIT) and pay-for-performance (P4P) initiatives registered low on the summer 2006 survey, conducted by the Foundation for Managed Care Pharmacy (FMCP) and The HSM Group, Ltd., a health care market research firm." (Drug Benefit News via AISHealth.com)

Office of the National Coordinator to Help State and Federal Advisory Panels Collaborate
Excerpt: "The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in its role as overseer plans to ensure crossover issues are discussed and recommendations are shared between the newly formed State Alliance for e-Health and the federal advisory group, the American Healthcare Information Community." (Healthcare IT News)

Pay-or-Play Health Insurance Mandates: Lessons from California
Excerpt: "In this issue of CEP, the author examines the probable outcomes of California's version of pay or play and concludes that it was seriously flawed: Employment and wages would have stagnated as employers passed on their increased costs, and many in the population would have remained uninsured." (Public Policy Institute of California)

Teams Devoted to Fitness in Town Employee Fitness Competition
Excerpt: "Each week has an exercise goal, starting with 90 minutes the first week and increasing by 10 minutes each subsequent week. Those who hit the mark are tossed into a weekly prize drawing, rewarding a male and female competitor." (Brookline TAB on TownOnline.com)

How to Handle Demanding Work Days Without Being Injured
Excerpt: "Employers -- eager to prevent injuries that strain the bottom line -- are promoting improved health by hiring on-site athletic trainers, encouraging employee exercise routines and approaching workers as 'industrial athletes.'" (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Your Health Plan's Dependent Coverage Clauses
Excerpt: "Have you been sneaking health coverage for your sister, a cousin, a boyfriend or girlfriend, ex-spouse or perhaps an adult child? Well, you'd better watch out because this open-enrollment season, more employers are auditing health-plan enrollees to verify that dependents are eligible." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

America's Health Insurance Plans to Announce Health Care Coverage Proposal for All
Excerpt: "According to AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni, the plan -- expected to be introduced Nov. 13 -- would involve private sector and government cooperation but would not necessarily mandate a new federal agency." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts — Health and Welfare -- Updated October 24, 2006 (PDF)
38 pages. Excerpt: "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)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

New Jersey Supreme Court Grants Full Rights to Same-Sex Couples
Excerpt: "New Jersey's highest court ruled Wednesday that the Garden State can no longer deny to same-sex couples the full legal benefits of marriage now afforded to heterose.xual couples." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Audio: Executive Compensation: Over the Top or On Track?
Excerpt: "Wharton accounting professor Wayne Guay talks with Knowledge@Wharton about his views on executive compensation, including the role of stock options in rewarding top managers." (Knowledge@Wharton)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts — Human Resources -- Updated October 24, 2006 (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "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)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Employee Benefits Legal Update
in Washington on November 17, 2006
presented by International Society of CEBS - Pacific NW Chapter

Summary Plan Descriptions for Health Plans (Including Health FSAs and HRAs)—How to Prepare and Deliver Effective SPDs
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

The Spotlight is on Fiduciary Issues
in California on November 16, 2006
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

NIPA prepares for its 2007 Annual Forum & Expo
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

New Survey Finds 92% of Employers Offer Flexible Benefit Plans
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Director of Qualified Plan Marketing
for The National Life Group®
in VT

401(k) Plan Technician/Analyst
for YHB Retirement Services, LLC
in CT

Director of Sales and Marketing
for Lynchval Systems Worldwide Inc.
in VA

Compliance Administrator - Fund Accounting
for Vanguard
in PA

Retirement Services Associate
for Lenox Advisors
in NY




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