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February 21, 2008

Here are the Web's best new links about compliance and cost aspects of plan operation, design and policy.


Today's sponsor is BeneCom Associates, LLC

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for BeneCom Associates, LLC

"Benefits statements are terrific education tools. Now, they’re budget-friendly, too."

If you’re looking for a low-cost approach to communicating the value of your benefits, BeneCom Associates, LLC can help. Our "preformatted," customized and online approaches to benefit statements are attractive, very reasonably priced and used by employers across the country who thought benefits statements were financially out of reach.

To find out how little benefits statements can cost and how they can help your organization, call (860) 674-2626 or visit us at benecomassociates.com.


Google to Store Patients' Health Records
Excerpt: "Google Inc. will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that's likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader." (AP via National Public Radio)

House Democrats Seek to Eliminate All Preexisting Coverage Exclusions in Health Insurance
Excerpt: "Under the No Discrimination in Health Insurance Act of 2008, Section 701 of ERISA (added by HIPAA in 1996) would be amended 'to eliminate the application of pre-existing condition exclusions in all group health coverage policies and all individual health insurance policies.'" (Workplace Prof Blog)

How Savvy Are Employees (and Employers) About Their Health Benefits? (PDF)
Pages 5-8 of 12 pages. (Milliman)

Health Plans Target Advanced Imaging Services - Cost, Quality and Safety Concerns Prompt Renewed Oversight
Excerpt: "Faced with double-digit annual increases in the use of advanced imaging services, health plans are stepping up efforts to manage imaging utilization, maintain imaging quality and ensure patient safety, according to findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC) 2007 site visits to 12 nationally representative metropolitan communities." (Center for Studying Health System Change)

More Employers Sponsor, More Employees Buy Group Long Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "In 2007, nearly 10,000 employer groups offered long term care insurance to their workers and their families. These policies covered slightly more than 2 million individuals, according to a study from the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The study was published in the AALTCI's 2008 LTCI Sourcebook." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Groups Push Electronic Prescription Technology to Curb Rising Health Costs
Excerpt: "Analysts say e-prescribing legislation has a good chance of becoming law this year. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said he supports a proposal that would help physicians purchase e-prescribing software, reward them each time they use the technology and penalize them if they have not adopted e-prescribing by 2011." (California HealthCare Foundation; free registration may be required)

States Redefine Family Health Insurance Policies
Excerpt: "The insurance industry says the extensions cause insurers to pay for care that consumers previously paid for out of their own pockets. When insurers have to pay more claims, they eventually have to raise premiums to cover those claims. For the most part, employers bear the added cost." (AP via Houston Chronicle)

Small Businesses Can Join Forces for Health Care in South Carolina
Excerpt: "South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford . . . signed into law a bill that gives small businesses an alternative way to offer their employees health insurance.' (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

[Opinion] Myths and Memes About Single-Payer Health Iinsurance in the United States - A Rebuttal to Conservative Claims
Excerpt: "Recent years have seen the rapid growth of private think tanks within the neoconservative movement that conduct 'policy research' biased to their own agenda. This article provides an evidence-based rebuttal to a 2002 report by one such think tank, the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), which was intended to discredit 20 alleged myths about single-payer national health insurance as a policy option for the United States." (International Journal of Health Services via Physicians for a National Health Program)


Sponsored by: CDHC Solutions

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for CDHC Solutions

Learn more about the only business magazine focused on the changing face of health care benefits and health care benefits management

Visit www.cdhcsolutionsmag.com to learn more about the magazine and our new social networking site which is exclusive in the field. Now you are even closer to the cutting-edge solutions and conversations discussed in CDHC Solutions magazine. No more one-way, top-down consumer-directed healthcare information from brochures, media kits, lectures and Web sites. Now you can put the power of virtual networking to use in real time. And most importantly, now you can interact easily with your peers and experts in the field about topics featured in the site or your own interests. Also, please check out our Virtual Events where you can attend keynotes; workshops and view Exhibitors all from your desk.

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

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

[Opinion] American Benefits Council Letter Regarding Private Letter Ruling Under Code Section 162(m) (PDF)
Excerpt: "As a result of the publication of PLR 20080404, many of our member companies that have established performance-based arrangements for purposes of Code section 162(m) face an immediate accounting impact. The issue is further complicated by the timing of the PLR because many public companies are in the midst of preparing proxies and compensation disclosures for spring shareholder meetings." (American Benefits Council)

Teamsters Demand Overhaul of Executive Compensation Practices at UAL
Excerpt: "The Teamsters sent a letter . . . to UAL Corporation . . . demanding that it overhaul its compensation practices. If the company makes no significant changes, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Fund will urge fellow shareholders to withhold votes from directors serving on the subcommittee that set UAL's exorbitant executive pay." (PR Newswire via Fox Business)

Watson Wyatt Finds Strong Executive Pay and Performance Link
Excerpt: "Chief executive officers whose companies financially outperformed their peers over a three-year period received long-term incentive award payouts that were more than 50% above their target, according to an analysis by Watson Wyatt Worldwide." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview] Action Plan for 'Tainted' Performance-Based Compensation (PDF)
Excerpt: "On February 14, 2008, a representative of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explained why the IRS recently changed its long-standing position regarding the deductibility of performance-based compensation where the compensation could be paid upon the executive's involuntary termination, without attaining the performance goal." (Holme Roberts & Owen LLP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(k) Fee Disclosures – Update on current cases and proposed legislation; Nonqualified Deferred Compensation; Overview of Final 409A Regulations; Qualified Default Investment Alternatives
in Connecticut on March 19, 2008
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators-CT Chapter

Form 5500 Update with Janice Wegesin
Nationwide on March 4, 2008
presented by ftwilliam.com

HR Self-Audits: How To Discover (And Fix) Your Weak Spots Before A Federal Agency Does
Nationwide on March 13, 2008
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Qualified Medical Child Support Orders: Election Changes, Privacy, and Rights of Employees, Children, and Custodial Parents
Nationwide on February 14, 2008
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA)/Thomson Tax & Accounting

The COBRA Timeline: Reduce Liability, Expenses, And COBRA Participation
Nationwide on February 28, 2008
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Employers Using Benefits Enrollment Systems To Drive Employee Behavior Change, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds
Watson Wyatt

PBGC Issues Technical Update 08-1
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

U.S. Labor Department Unveils Online Resource To Help Americans Chart Retirement Finances
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Towers Perrin Study Debunks Common Workforce Myths; Stress, Technology and Bosses Not Always the Enemy
Towers Perrin

Pension Rights Statement On The Supreme Courts Decision In LaRue v. DeWolff
Pension Rights Center

ftwilliam.com Announces The Release Of InfoLink
ftwilliam.com

Supreme Court Says 401k Participants Can Sue
Associated Press


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