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November 16, 2006
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Bush and Automakers Talk Health Care
Excerpt: "Tom LaSorda, president and chief executive officer of DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, said the automakers stressed to Bush that 'specific issues like health care' aren't limited to the automobile industry." (AP via The New York Times; free registration required)

San Francisco Supervisor Signals Flexibility After Suit Aims to Kill His Health Program
Excerpt: "Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who sponsored legislation creating a health plan to cover uninsured San Franciscans, said Wednesday the program is 'a living, breathing document.... When people sit down for discussion, there is room for change.'" (San Francisco Business Times via bizjournals.com; free registration required)

Sharing Dependent Care Costs with Uncle Sam
Excerpt: "Do you regularly pay for day care or summer day camps for children, long-term care for parents, or care for a disabled spouse? If you do, then you should know how to share these potential drains on your retirement contributions with Uncle Sam." (Employee Benefit News and SourceMedia, Inc.)

Hospital's ERISA Claims Against TPA and PPO Network Dismissed
Excerpt: "As an assignee of the ERISA beneficiary's rights, the hospital . . . had a very limited array of options. On the positive side, the hospital could pursue the claim for benefits against the plan. Of course, that action is constrained by all of the typical limitations of claims for benefits such as the rules permitting deference to plan interpretations and decisions of plan administrators, limitation of discovery and evidence to the administrative record . . . ." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

New Jersey Civil Rights Division Releases New Proposed Family Leave Act Regulations (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "By now, all employers should be aware of their obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, employers who operate in multiple jurisdictions may forget to consider state leave laws, which may not always correspond identically with the FMLA. New Jersey is one such state that has a leave law, the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), which differs in many respects from the FMLA." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Revised Link: Contribution of Sick and Vacation Pay to Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
2 pages. The notes were prepared by the NAGDCA Legislative Committee in 2004 and updated in 2006. (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators)

Indiana Senate to End Retirement Health Care Benefits for Members
Excerpt: "Republicans who solidly control the Indiana Senate said [yesterday] they will phase out state retirement health benefits for their members. Sen. David Long, expected to be voted Senate president pro tem on Tuesday, said he would sign an order that day to end the benefits next year. The Senate Retirement Health Care Plan has become too generous and needs to end, he said." (AP via The News-Sentinel)

2007 Directory of Health Care Purchasing Coalitions: Multiemployer and Public Plans (PDF)
55 pages. (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Toyota Truck Plant and Health Care Center Ready to Roll
Excerpt: "The Japanese automaker will be the first of the large auto manufacturers operating in the United States to address health care costs by building a full-service health care center at one of its sites. Plant will open Friday in San Antonio." (Workforce Management; free registration required)

America's Insurers to Launch Personal Health Records Initiative
Excerpt: "America's Health Insurance Plans is poised to announce an industry initiative for making personal health records portable from one health insurance company to another. AHIP will make public the details of an 18-month pilot project with 10 AHIP member companies on December 13." (Health IT News)

Medicare Part D: Transforming Managed Health Care (PDF)
36 pages. Excerpt: "With up-to-date information about Medicare Part D regulations and enrollment, as well as expert analysis of post implementation implications for third-party payers, this publication is an important educational tool for managed care professionals. The content of this supplement is based on the MMAction Webcast Series on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003." (Managed Care)

PricewaterhouseCoopers Report Shows Health Costs Headed Up in 2007 10% to 11%
Excerpt: "Preferred provider organizations (PPO) costs are expected to rise 11.9% in 2007, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) by 11.8% and consumer-driven health plans by 10.7%, according to a new study." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Shopping for Drugs: 2007 (PDF)
48 pages. Excerpt: "Consumers can use a number of strategies to lower their drug costs. Which ones are appropriate will depend on their medical conditions and circumstances. But if patients treat drugs like other consumer goods -- by informing themselves, shopping among alternatives and comparing prices -- they are almost assured of lower drug bills." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit - An Updated Fact Sheet (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This updated fact sheet includes the latest information and data about the Medicare Drug Benefit, including a breakdown of the standard benefit, updates on additional low-income assistance, and the latest 2006 enrollment data." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Yale University Study Shows How Alcoa Encourages Employee Use of Preventive Care Services
Excerpt: "A study conducted by Yale University and published in the November/December issue of Health Affairs journal shows how Alcoa AA was able to use different cost sharing approaches in its employee benefits plans to encourage employees' use of preventive care services while at the same time helping control the company's overall health care costs." (BusinessWire via MSN Money)

Opinion: Health Care and the New Congress
Excerpt: "The Nov. 7 elections were not a referendum on health care, but the issue nonetheless is likely to take center stage in the new Democrat-controlled Congress with new leaders, different issues, and a new playbook." (Galen Institute)

Would Safety-Net Expansions Offset Reduced Access Resulting from Lost Insurance Coverage?
9 pages. Excerpt: "This study simulated whether increased community health center (CHC) funding under the Bush administration narrowed racial/ethnic gaps in access to care among low-income people." (Health Affairs)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated November 14, 2006, for Health and Welfare Plans (PDF)
5 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans. (Hewitt Associates)

Overview of Further Clarification from DOL on HSA Administration
Excerpt: "The DOL guidance requires that account holders (i.e., employees) have sole control of the accounts and are exclusively responsible for spending HSA funds. In addition, the account holder may move the funds to another HSA or otherwise withdraw the funds." (CCA Strategies, LLC)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Year-End Compliance Alert: Qualified Retirement Plans, Health and Welfare Plans, and Exec Comp (PDF)
Excerpt: "The [target page] is a summary of year-end compliance issues that you should consider as we approach the end of 2006. Although many of these issues deserve more detailed comment, [Miller & Chevalier's] intent is to help you see the big picture before you focus on the details." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

Shareholder Resolution Seeks to Limit Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "Two shareholder resolutions recently offered by unions make it clear that institutional investors will keep the focus on executive compensation in the 2007 proxy season." (HR Policy Association)

Hewitt's Global Report - Third Quarter 2006
The report covers Retirement and Social Security issues, Proposed Changes, and Other Benefits including health care and Issues for Expatriate Employees in many countries. (Hewitt Associates)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide for November 14, 2006, on Human Resources and Employment Law (PDF)
8 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)

Bosses and Workers Not In Sync over Recruiting Impacts
Excerpt: "A new survey finds that organizations and their employees do not see eye to eye when it comes to gauging the impact of pay, health care and retirement plans on attracting talented workers and keeping their professional engines revved up." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Ask the Experts: Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D - Webcast
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Exploring Defined Contribution-Related Provisions of The Pension Protection Act of 2006 - Webcast
Nationwide on November 30, 2006
presented by International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE)

Five Must-Know Tips To Save On Health Insurance In 2007-The Biggest Non-Compliance Mistakes - Audio Conference
Nationwide on December 12, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Health & Welfare Plan Record Retention and Document Disclosures—How to Avoid Penalties, Keep the Feds Happy, and Prevent Compliance Headaches
Nationwide on November 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Immigration Compliance For The HR Professional: Employment Authorization Issues And Beyond- Audio Conference
Nationwide on November 28, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

New HSA Comparability Rules - Webcast
Nationwide on November 29, 2006
presented by ABTrainingCenter.com

New Policy Proposal to Expand Access to Health Insurance Coverage for the Uninsured - Webcast
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Workers' Compensation Settlements: A Do's And Don'ts Practical Guide
Nationwide on December 4, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Settlement With Former Enron Executive Jeffrey Skilling
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Council Welcomes PBGC Deficit Reduction Announcement But Urges Changes to Calculation of Deficit
American Benefits Council

Pension Reporter Government Forms System from DATAIR – Year 2006 Forms Released
DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

DATAIR Announces 1099-R Service Bureau
DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Healthcare Costs Increase at the Lowest Rate in Five Years
Aon Consulting


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator
for Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in FL

Plan Administrator
for Third Party Administration Firm
in FL

Regional Service Coordinator
for Standard Insurance Company
in OH

Plan Manager
for The Hartford
in CT

Senior Implementation Specialist
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Regional Marketing Director, TPA Services (#0601288)
for John Hancock
in CA

Trust Associate II
for Wachovia
in VA

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Kibble & Prentice
in WA

Senior Due Diligence Analyst
for Vanguard
in PA

Retirement Services Consultant
for McGovern Myles, LLC
in ANY STATE

Relationship Manager
for A.G. Edwards & Sons
in CA

Pension Administrator
for Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP
in MN




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