Health & Welfare Plans

To BenefitsLink home page Fill your job openings fast on!
Search Earlier Newsletters:

Sort by date
Sort by closest match

August 11, 2008

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

Today's sponsor is Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA)

A Giant Leap Forward for Employee Benefits

Checkpoint delivers an unparalleled combination of cutting-edge technology, seamless integration and flexibility designed to help you find all of the answers you seek quickly and efficiently.

Together, EBIA and Checkpoint offer a giant leap forward for all who plan, administer or advise on employee benefits issues.
We invite you to use EBIA on Checkpoint FREE FOR 30-DAYS and see the difference for yourself.

Call 1.800.950.1216 or visit to register for your FREE 30-day trial.

[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated August 6, 2008, for Health and Welfare Plans (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 health and welfare benefit plans. (Hewitt Associates)

[Guidance Overview] ERISA's Governmental Plan Exemption Defeats Provider's Claims
Excerpt: "Motion practice plays a significant role in ERISA cases. Thus, the ERISA defendant often has an early opportunity to unhinge a plaintiff's case, and any plaintiff escaping a thorough vetting of claims through various motions should be considered fortunate indeed." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

Prices for Some Drugs Skyrocket
Excerpt: "Drug companies are quietly pushing through price hikes of 100% -- or even more than 1,000% -- for a very small but growing number of prescription drugs, helping to drive up costs for insurers, patients and government programs." (USA TODAY)

Health Care Costs Seen Rising 10 Percent in 2009
Excerpt: "Health care costs are expected to rise more than 10 percent into next year, according to a survey of insurers by Aon Consulting Worldwide. But that increase is the smallest Aon has seen in six years. Experts say it shows that efforts to tame costs, such as employee wellness or disease management programs, may be paying off." (AP via The New York Times; free registration required)

GM Benefits to Cost Salaried Employees More
Excerpt: "General Motors Corp. salaried employees learned Friday morning that dental and vision coverage will be more expensive next year and that prescription drug co-pays also will increase. The benefit cost increases are part of GM's plan, announced July 16, to conserve and raise $15 billion as the world's largest automaker deals with plunging sales due to a weak U.S. economy and dramatically changing vehicle preferences." (Detroit Free Press)

Comparative Effectiveness in Health Care Delivery - Better Value for the Money? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Comparative effectiveness ('CE') research is a hot topic these days because it offers the attractive prospect of cutting costs while improving the quality of health care. Simply stated, CE aims to assess how various procedures or interventions for a given ailment compare with each other. CE is part of a broader movement to make sound science-based evidence the basis for medical practice." (Alliance for Health Reform)

Giving Time Off to Help Save a Life
Excerpt: "Organ transplant advocates push for paid leave and new laws protecting jobs of donors, but small firms say they can't always accommodate such requests -- even for a good cause." (Workforce Management; free registration required)

Democratic Party Agrees on a Health Care Guarantee for All
Excerpt: "Democrats shaped a set of principles Saturday that commits the party to guaranteed health care for all, heading off a potentially divisive debate and edging the party closer to the position of Barack Obama's defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton." (San Francisco Chronicle)

California Lawmakers Determine Paid Sick Leave Benefit too Costly
Excerpt: "A California bill that would force employers to provide paid sick leave for workers died Thursday amid business lobbyists' opposition and lawmakers' concern that the benefit was too costly, the Los Angeles Times reports." (; free registration required)

Organizing the U.S. Health Care Delivery System for High Performance
Excerpt: "This report from The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System examines fragmentation in our health care delivery system and offers policy recommendations to stimulate greater organization -- established mechanisms for working across providers and care settings." (The Commonwealth Fund)

Illinois Governor To Extend Maximum Age Child Can Be Covered Under Parents' Health Insurance
Excerpt: "Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) on Wednesday announced that he will use his amendatory veto to allow children to remain insured under their parents' health plans until they turn age 26, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports. Under the revision, parents would be allowed to keep their children on their insurance up to age 30 if the child is a veteran." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Kucinich Introduces Legislation That Seeks To Lower Prescription Drug Costs by Replacing Medicare Part D
Excerpt: "Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently introduced a bill (HR 6800) that would replace the Medicare prescription drug benefit with a new program in an effort to reduce costs, CQ HealthBeat reports. The legislation would require Medicare to negotiate directly with pharma.ceutical companies for discounts on prescription drugs and eliminate copayments, premiums and deductibles for medications for beneficiaries." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

[Opinion] The Pursuit of Universal Health Care in America
Excerpt: "The draft Democratic Party platform that was sent out last week puts health care reform front and center. 'If one thing came through in the platform hearings,' says the document, 'it was that Democrats are united around a commitment to provide every American access to affordable, comprehensive health care.'" (The New York Times; free registration required)

Sponsored by: WorldatWork

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

WorldatWork publications in the BenefitsLink Bookstore

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.

(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

[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated August 6, 2008, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
9 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)

[Guidance Overview] New Proposed Regulation for Employee Stock Purchase Plans Under Code Sec. 423
Excerpt: "It is hard to get too excited about these proposed regulations since (i) the existing final regulations on Sec. 423 were last updated in 2004, and (ii) their effective date, upon publication as final regulations in the Federal Register, will be January 1, 2010. However, the proposed regs do provide helpful guidance in a few areas, including three of the areas where we see the most confusion among companies . . . ." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS's Proposed Regulations for Employee Stock Purchase Plans
Excerpt: "Employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) were added to the Internal Revenue Code by the Revenue Act of 1964. Since then, precious little official guidance has been available on these plans. . . . In this article, we'll give some very basic background on ESPPs and discuss some of the key points raised in the proposed regulations." (JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

[Guidance Overview] IRS's Proposed Reporting Requirements for Incentive Stock Options
Excerpt: "Prior to the law change, an employer's primary reporting responsibility was to the employee. Now, similar information will be required to be provided to the IRS to ensure taxpayer compliance with the associated ordinary income tax and capital gains requirements. In this article, we review the implications of these proposed requirements." (JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

SPEEA Demands Boeing Disclose Funding of Executive Pensions
Excerpt: "The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001, formally requested the information from Boeing after a recent investigative news report by The Wall Street Journal uncovered U.S. corporations funding executive pensions by funneling funds through regular employee plans. This practice weakens employees' pensions while allowing corporations to take advantage of huge tax benefits not normally available for executive pension plans." (Business Wire via MarketWatch)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

MassMutual's e4(SM) Handheld Technology Drives Retirement Plan Participants to New Heights in Participation and Savings
MassMutual Retirement Services

AIG Advisor Group Approves PPC Designation Across Network
Financial Service Standards, LLC

CCH Says High Gas Prices May Cause Employers to Rethink Telecommuting, Compressed Work Weeks
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business

Accord Human Resources Exhibits Excellence Through CEFEX Certification
Roland|Criss Fiduciary Services

Corporate America Playing Larger Role in Employee Retirement Readiness Says New Study from Schwab and CFO Research
Charles Schwab Corporation

SPEEA Demands Boeing Disclose Funding of Executive Pensions
Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)

We're one of the top 350 employment sites on the web!Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
(Post a Job | View All Jobs | RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed )

Pension Administrator/TPA
for Block Consulting Actuaries, Inc.
in CA

401(k) Processor
for Pen-Cal Administrators
in CA

Documents Supervisor
for Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Senior Specialist, Retirement
for Montgomery County Public Schools
in MD

Participant Services Representative II
for The Standard
in TX

Defined Contribution Analyst III
for The Standard
in TX

Retirement Services District Manager
for ADP Retirement Services
in CA, CT, MD, OH, PA, TX

ERISA Attorney
for Archer, Byington, Glennon & Levine, LLP
in NY

Account Manager - Conversions
for The Standard

Handy Links:

Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, Too!

Sign-up form is at (free).

This newsletter is sent to you each workday except federal holidays.

This email has been published by:, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor

Copyright 2008, Inc.; except that you can forward this email in full (including this boilerplate part) or otherwise reprint this email in full (including this boilerplate part) without obtaining our permission.

Anyone can receive these emails; just have them sign up at this web page:

Other useful links: