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August 22, 2008

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


Today's sponsor is University Conference Services

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for University Conference Services

Trimming the Benefits Tab Without Cutting the Value

If you’re like most employers, you struggle with how to contain the cost of your health care programs without diminishing their value to employees. There are many remedies to consider, but you do you know what’s best for your organization? Health and Welfare Plan Management for Mid-Sized Employers, September 7–10, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is the perfect place to find out if you have the right "dosage" for your benefit plans.

[Guidance Overview] Colorado Employers Must Provide Accommodations for Working, Nursing Mothers (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "On Tuesday, August 5, 2008, a new Colorado law requiring employers to provide certain accommodations for nursing mothers takes effect. Under this law, employers – defined as 'any person engaged in business who has one or more employees' – must allow nursing mothers reasonable break time in which to express breast milk, and must make reasonable efforts to provide a suitable private space in which to do so. The law also prohibits discrimination against nursing mothers." (Snell & Wilmer LLP)


Extra Pounds Mean Insurance Fees for Alabama Workers
Excerpt: "The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit -- or they'll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free. Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who don't work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors." (AP via The New York Times; free registration required)


Health of the Nation — Coverage for All Americans
Excerpt: "On May 10, 2008, the Journal and the Massachusetts Medical Society brought together 13 panelists for a seminar on U.S. health policy and universal health coverage. In a discussion moderated by Arthur R. Miller, J.D., of the New York University School of Law, the participants identified important challenges to the American health care system and debated possible solutions. [A video of the seminar is available at the target page along with excerpts in PDF from the discussion, a video transcript, and text highlights.]" (The New England Journal of Medicine)


Survey Reveals Most HR Professionals Want Government to Play Role in Regulating Healthcare Costs
Excerpt: "A majority of corporate human resource managers believe the federal government should play a role in regulating healthcare costs and coverage, but neither political party offers a clear-cut resolution. . . . The 1,242 respondents were almost evenly divided on whether the viewpoints of either John McCain or Barack Obama could positively affect the current state of rising health care costs and coverage in the United States. However, almost half of those surveyed felt that neither the Republican nor Democratic party would be effective in addressing the issue." (Marketwire via NewsEdge via Human Resource Executive Online)


Colorado to Create Largest Telehealth Network Nationwide
Excerpt: "The Colorado Hospital Association will use a Federal Communications Commission grant worth up to $4.6 million over three years to develop a telehealth network throughout Colorado, Healthcare IT News reports. The Colorado telehealth network, which is set to be the largest health care information network in the U.S., aims to curb health care costs, increase consumers' convenience and reduce potential medical errors." (California HealthCare Foundation)


Illinois Senate Approves Governor's Proposal To Extend Maximum Age Child Can Be Covered Under Parents' Health Insurance
Excerpt: "The Illinois Senate on Tuesday voted 35-17 to approve a measure that would allow as many as 300,000 young adults to remain on their parents' health plans up to age 26, or up to age 30 if they are veterans, the Chicago Tribune reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)



Sponsored by: ALM

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Banner ad for ALM

Complete Benefits Law Guidance from Law Journal Press

The nation's workforce and health care system are constantly evolving and so are the legal issues. Law Journal Press helps you handle any benefits law question with up-to-date, authoritative books on all aspects of the field. Get legal and practical advice from leading experts on everything from COBRA to ERISA, "contingent" employees to family and medical leave, and more. Browse our product listings for detailed information and special offers.

(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] EBSA Extension of Annual Reports Deadline in Ten States Affected by Natural Disasters
Excerpt: "The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U. S. Department of Labor has announced an extension of the deadline for filing the Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ annual report/return in ten states which have been affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. The extension applies to plan administrators, employers and other entities located in the presidential disaster areas directly affected, as identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency." (Wolters Kluwer)


Work and Life, Boundaries and Balance: New Book, 'The One-Life Solution,' Addresses Work-Life Balance
Excerpt: "Clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud's mission: to find the right balance between work and personal time, an increasing problem for today's overscheduled workforce. . . . His latest book, 'The One-Life Solution,' was released last week. Dr. Cloud . . . spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his work and his new book." (The Wall Street Journal)


Know Your Rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
Excerpt: "The types of claims discussed . . . are not intended to be an exclusive list of possible claims under ERISA, but rather, representative of some common claims. ERISA is a complicated area of federal law that provides very specific remedies depending on the type of violation alleged. An employee or former employee must also, in many cases, exhaust certain administrative remedies before bringing such a claim." (Hanlon Niemann)


Workers Want Time Off for Fun
Excerpt: "Though their stress levels are high, workers haven't been taking much time off from work in 2008, and many have not been using their time off as they would like, according to recent research from The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)




Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

U.S. Labor Department Proposes Rules On Investment Advice Exemption For 401(k) Plans And IRAs
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

The Online 401k Announces Partnership with Mangrove
The Online 401(k)

Genesis Consolidated Services Achieves Retirement Plan Certification
Roland|Criss Fiduciary Services

National Retirement Partners Closes Another Acquisition
National Retirement Partners, Inc.



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DC Plan Administrator
for Campbell Albrecht
in CA

401(k) Pension Consultant / Administrator
for Malcolm Thompson & Associates, Inc.
in TX

Compliance Administrator
for Pension Corporation of America
in OH

Employee Benefits Account Executive 1
for Wells Fargo Insurance Services
in CA

Human Resources Benefits Manager
for 1199SEIU Family of Funds
in NY

Sales Consultant - Retirement Benefits
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in TX

National Accounts Communication Consultant - Retirement Services
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Director, National Accounts Communication Consultant-Retirement Services
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

401(k) Administrator
for Iron Administration, LLC
in IL

Actuarial Analyst
for Frederick Bass & Co., Inc.
in TX

401(k) Administrator
for Redwood Administrators, Inc.
in NJ

Unit Manager
for DST Systems
in MO

Retirement Benefits Manager
for Selective Insurance Company of America
in NJ




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