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March 8, 2007

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The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a comprehensive resource for those working with benefit plans. Members enjoy personalized secondary research services, informative publications and online information, as well as discounted educational programs, books and distance learning options. Known as the cosponsor of the CEBS designation, the International Foundation also offers numerous ways to keep current with benefit issues, so you are prepared to answer your participants’ questions.

Employees in Pain Contribute to Presenteeism
Excerpt: "The number of employees experiencing persistent, chronic pain is growing, and it may be costing employers. Eighteen percent of the U.S. full-time workforce reported experiencing chronic pain in 2006, up from 13% in 1996, reports a new survey ( conducted by Harris Interactive, PriCara and the National Pain Foundation." (BenefitNews Connect)

Disability Planning not Top Priority for Workers
Excerpt: "Nearly 60% of workers don't know how they would financially manage a disability that robs them of an income and almost half of those workers haven't considered the financial impact of a disability at all, according to a survey by the Council for Disability Awareness (CDA)." (; free registration required)

Support Builds for Washington State Bill Giving 5 Paid Weeks of Family Leave
Excerpt: "Federal law already requires businesses with 50 or more employees to give workers up to 12 weeks of medical leave per year for themselves or to take care of an ailing relative. But it does not require paid leave. Supporters have been trying since 2001 to expand Washington's family-leave law." (The Seattle Times)

Employer Can't Force Paid Leave Substitution under FMLA
Excerpt: "A freight hauling company mistakenly required an employee on medical leave to also burn up paid sick and vacation leave, a federal appellate court has ruled. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Roadway Express violated a U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) regulation precluding forcing an employee to substitute paid leave for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)." (; free registration required)

Sixty Seconds of Privacy: Developments in HIPAA Enforcement
Excerpt: "Question: Although HIPAA requires health plans and health care providers to implement privacy and security policies and procedures, this is expensive and I have heard that there is little actual enforcement of the HIPAA rules. What are the risks of noncompliance?" (Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP)

How Changes in Medical Technology Affect Health Care Costs
Excerpt: "Health care experts point to the development and diffusion of medical technology as primary factors in explaining the persistent difference between health spending and overall economic growth, with some arguing that new medical technology may account for about one-half or more of real long-term spending growth. This paper briefly describes what health policy analysts mean by medical technology and the mechanisms by which it affects the growth in health care costs." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Providers Ask Health Plans to Respond to High-Deductible Debt Problem
Excerpt: "Providers are adopting new business practices to address the special collection challenges caused by high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). But they also urge MCOs to clearly identify these types of plans and get more involved in the collection of members' out-of-pocket costs." (MANAGED CARE WEEK via

Opinion: High-Deductible Health Plans and the New Risks of Consumer-Driven Health Insurance Products
Excerpt: "This policy statement provides background information on the most common CDHP model -- the HDHP paired with a tax-advantaged spending account -- and the latest research on these new insurance products. The statement also discusses the implications for pediatricians and families and offers recommendations pertaining to product design, education, practice administration, and research." (Pediatrics via California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee)

PBM's Defeated in Bellwether District Court Decision over Transparency Statute
Excerpt: "To understand the significance of the decision, consider that some 36 states and the District have recently introduced legislation regulating PBM's. Thus, state lawmakers are taking seriously the allegations of fraud and abuse by PBM's and are doing something about it." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

Trends in State Mandated Benefits, 2007 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Since the early 1990s, the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI) has tracked state mandate legislation in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Although there was only a handful of state mandates in the 1960s, CAHI's most recent report, 'Health Insurance Mandates in the States, 2007,' has identified 1901 nationwide." (The Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

Overview: President and Others Propose Big Changes for Health Care
Excerpt: "Some of the administration's proposals are continuations of past initiatives, such as expanding health savings accounts (HSAs), while others represent new directions, such as eliminating the income tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage. The president would replace the tax subsidy with a standard (and limited) deduction for everyone who bought health insurance." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

AFL-CIO Endorses Medicare for All - The AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement
Excerpt: "It is time to mobilize America behind a concrete plan to enact universal health care and the AFL-CIO commits its full resources to asserting leadership in this historic effort. Universal health care does not mean mandating that everyone must buy a health insurance policy and then handing them the bills. Meaningful health care reform must be measured by the following tests . . . ." (Health Care via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Opinion: Universal Health for Insurance Companies
Excerpt: "[W]ith the help of Professor Len Rodberg [I will] briefly outline some of specific national proposals that have been in the news lately: America's Health Insurance Plans; Better Health Care Together Campaign; Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured; Sen. Ron Wyden with SEIU & Safeway; Federation of American Hospitals; John Edwards. What they share is the goal to keep the insurance companies healthy… lets see how that works." (Daily Kos via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated March 6, 2007, for Health and Welfare Plans (PDF)
10 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)

Research Brief: Is Military Disability Compensation Adequate?
Excerpt: "This research brief compares military and civilian disability compensation systems and discusses the need for a way to measure the economic loss from a military-related injury and to assess the effect of a military disability on civilian earnings." (RAND)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Delta Gives More Details on Post-Bankrup.tcy Employee Benefits
Excerpt: "Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to issue a lump-sum cash payment to many employees when the airline emerges from bankrup.tcy this spring, according to a newsletter sent this week to workers from Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Legal Uncertainty Stifles Phased Retirement
Excerpt: "Adoption of phased retirement has been sluggish, partly because of increasingly complex legal hurdles. With two rules on phased retirement stipulating different age limits, legal uncertainty abounds. Employers continue to assume a 'wait and see' posture." (Employee Benefit News)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide for March 6, 2007, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
7 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)

Backdating Scandal Probe Extends to 9/11 Slump
Excerpt: "Dozens of companies are being investigated for backdating stock options to the days that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and profiting on the back of the equity-market slump that resulted, The Wall Street Journal reported [yesterday]." (CNBC)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Spring Conference
in Arizona on May 10, 2007
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Phoenix Chapter

25th Annual Creative Pension & Benefits Seminar
in Ohio on May 4, 2007
presented by Ohio State University Office of Continuing Education (CEd), The

Accredited "401k Service Training Program™" for Retirement Professionals
in California on April 24, 2007
presented by Financial Service Standards, LLC

Default Investments - The DOL Regulations
Nationwide on March 21, 2007
presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Participant Disclosures and Communications
Nationwide on April 19, 2007
presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Pension Focus 2007 Conference
in Missouri on May 17, 2007
presented by Pension Focus

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Work & Family Benefits, Inc. Introduces Web-based Benefits "Command and Communications" Hub
Work & Family Benefits Inc.

Most U.S. Adults Support Paid Sick Time Requirements
Wall Street Journal

The Online 401(k) Announces Plan Sponsor's Bill of Rights
The Online 401(k)

Roland|Criss Unveils The First Tool To Measure Fiduciary Risk For Retirement Plan Sponsors, Foundations, And Endowments
Roland|Criss Fiduciary Services

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Actuarial Benefit Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in MA, NC, NY

Enrollment Specialist
for CitiStreet
in TX

Part-Time Pension Contractors
for Diversified Investment Advisors

Director of Benefits Service Delivery
for New York University
in NY

Pension Administrator
for Retirement System Group Inc.
in NY

Sales position - Government Market
for CitiStreet

Sr Benefits Analyst
for Broadcom Corporation
in CA

Program Manager - Pension Plan - B025047
for IBM Corporation
in NC

Retirement and Institutional Trust Services Relationship Manager
for BOK Financial Corporation
in TX

401(k) Sales
for Boutique RIA Firm
in NY

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