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November 17, 2006
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WorldatWork, a not-for-profit professional association, is a leading publisher of compensation, benefits and total rewards information. With a portfolio of books, reports, survey briefs, booklets and online learning programs, WorldatWork creates, markets and distributes publications that are critical to improved organizational performance. WorldatWork has contributed to the education and development of business professionals worldwide since 1955.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Goes Behind the Numbers: 2007 Medical Cost Trends for Employers
Excerpt: "According to PwC research, insurance carriers anticipate medical costs to rise across all plan designs, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and consumer directed health plans. [The full-text of the PDF format of the report can be downloaded after a free registration.]" (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Overview: San Francisco Enacts Employer Provided Paid Sick Leave Ordinance for Full/Part Time Employees (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Employers in San Francisco must provide all employees one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Employees employed when the Ordinance becomes effective are immediately eligible. Those hired after the operative date become eligible after 90 days of service." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Overseas Health Care Becoming Attractive Option for U.S. Firms
Excerpt: "Traveling out of the country for elective surgeries has for years been an option for individuals without health insurance. But with constantly rising health care costs, it is becoming an attractive alternative for employers." (Workforce Management; free registration required)

Hospital-Physician Portals: The Role of Competition in Driving Clinical Data Exchange
Excerpt: "Interviews in twelve U.S. communities show that most large hospitals have or are developing physician portals to provide admitting physicians with remote access to patient records, but there is little data sharing among unaffiliated organizations. Competition among hospitals for physicians is a key factor driving adoption of these proprietary systems." (Health Affairs)

NASCIO Releases Profiles of State Health IT Initiatives
Excerpt: "The compendium – titled 'Profiles in Progress: State Health IT Initiatives' – sketches the progress in health IT implementation in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It includes relevant information such as a Web site of the group or initiative directly involved in health IT, the governing authority, source of the authority, state government involvement, demonstration or operational projects, and whether the CIO plays a role in any initiative and what that role might entail." (Government Health IT)

Overview of New TRICARE Rule Affecting Coordination of Group Health Plans and Military Coverage (PDF)
2 pages. This bulletin for health plan sponsors discusses a new federal law that affects the coordination of group health plans and TRICARE, the military health program. (The Segal Group, Inc.)

Abstract: New TRICARE Rule Affects Coordination of Group Health Plans and Military Coverage
Excerpt: "Under a new federal law, group health plan sponsors can no longer offer employees eligible for TRICARE, the military health program, a financial incentive not to enroll in their plan if that plan would have been primary to TRICARE. Violating this rule would subject the employer or plan sponsor to civil monetary penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation." (The Segal Company)

Big Three Automakers Should Not Receive U.S. Help on Health Care Costs, Editorial States
Excerpt: "General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler Group, the CEOs of which met with President Bush on Wednesday to discuss the future of the U.S. automobile industry amid concerns about health care costs and trade issues, 'are keen to present their current woes as industrywide,' but the Big Three do not 'speak for the industry' and are 'responding to self-inflicted wounds,' a Wall Street Journal editorial states." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Will Employer Coverage Endure? The Health Affairs Thematic Issue
Excerpt: "The November/December 2006 issue of the journal Health Affairs, supported by the California HealthCare Foundation, includes a series of articles exploring the future of employer coverage and trends in private health insurance . . . ." (California HealthCare Foundation)

Employers Boost CDHP Offering, but Worker Participation Lags
Excerpt: "The 2006 Spencer Survey of Consumer-Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) found that during this year's benefits enrollment period the number of employers offering an HSA has increased from to 28% from 12% in 2005." (; free registration required)

Plan Would Require Health Insurance: State Panel Drafts Proposal to Insure All Workers
Excerpt: "Marylanders would be required to buy health insurance under a draft plan outlined yesterday by the staff of the Maryland Health Care Commission. The plan would be a radical change from the current system of employers choosing which health plans to offer to workers. It would set up an insurance exchange where individuals could choose from any plans offered by insurers and keep the same coverage when moving from job to job." (The Baltimore Sun via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Multiemployer Pension Fund Improperly Denied Claim for LTD Benefits, According to Second Circuit
Excerpt: "A multiemployer pension fund failed to conduct 'a full and fair review' of whether a beneficiary was entitled to long term disability benefits and, hence, the beneficiary may pursue her lawsuit seeking to recover LTD benefits." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

NBER Working Paper Abstract: Effect of Depression on Retirement & Disability Insurance Applications
Excerpt: "Poor health has long been established as one of the most critical determinants of retirement behavior. Yet the existing literature has focused primarily on the role of physical illness. Since the early 1990s, mental illnesses have been the fastest growing source of claims for Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits, particularly among people aged 45-64. This suggests that poor mental health may also be an important factor in retirement decisions." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve full-text)

Opinion: Recognition of Entitlement Liabilities by the U.S. Government
Excerpt: "The new Congress faces an urgent need to reposition the big entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare, on a sounder financial footing. With each passing year, these programs' massive fiscal imbalances grow larger, making it harder to solve the problem, but all the more necessary to do so." ( via Cato Institute)

More Than Backdating in Common: Study Links Options Abuses to Inside Directors, Long-Term CEOs
Excerpt: "The research, by a trio of business professors, suggests that recent stock-option abuses have their roots in broader corporate governance problems -- and not only at technology companies that have been a focus of a widening scandal over the backdating of option grants." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Newly Posted Press Releases
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Council Supports Administration’s Four Cornerstones Proposal on Value-Driven Health Care
American Benefits Council

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
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Retirement Plans Administrative Specialist
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in MA

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for Stanley, Hunt, Dupree, & Rhine, Inc.
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