What's New

What's New - December 1999

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What's new at EBRI this month:

Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey: Results of the Iowa Retirement Confidence Survey were released by EBRI and the Principal Financial Group on Dec. 20, 1999, in Des Moines, Iowa.

EBRI Health Benefits Databook Released: EBRI released its new Health Benefits Databook on December 7. The 200-page book includes an overview of the health policy issues--including sources of coverage, the most recent information on the uninsured, and public opinion--along with more than 100 tables and charts of statistical data.

EBRI Issue Brief for December 1999: This month's issue contains the results of the Employee Benefit Research Institute's (EBRI) ninth annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS).

New Retirement Data From EBRI: IRAs Fueled By Rollovers, Not New Contributions reads the heading on the press release about the December 1999 Notes article.

EBRI-ERF Policy Forum Materials: Background materials for the December 1, 1999, EBRI-ERF policy forum are available by clicking here (follow the links from the agenda).

1999 Women's Retirement Confidence Survey (WRCS): Results of the 1999 WRCS were released on November 17 during the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) Partners' meeting. Click here for the press release, fact sheets, a full report, and charts from the survey.

1999 Health Confidence Survey (HCS): Press Release Outlines Preliminary EBRI HCS Findings from EBRI 's Survey Which Examines Americans' Confidence in the Health Care System   Click here to go to a page with links to the Survey Questionnaire, a later press release, and Fact Sheets from the results of the survey:

  • Age Differences
  • Confidence in Health Care Today
  • Confidence in the Future of Health Care
  • Gender Differences
  • Health Status Differences
  • Medicare
  • Satisfaction with Managed Care
  • Managed Care Confusion

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What's new in employee benefits:

  • HR News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management

If a title link above no longer works, click here for the GAO Index of Reports and Testimony, FY99, and search for the report by entering words or phrases from the title. Reports will also be added to GAO's searchable WAIS database in ASCII and PDF formats within 24 hours of the original posting. Any individual report may be retrieved directly in text and PDF formats with the following URL: http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?RPTNO replacing RPTNO with the report number (e.g., GAO/OCG-98-1).

 If your computer does not already have the free Adobe Acrobat viewer software to read PDF files, click here for the one-time download necessary to read PDF publications.

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(12/30/99) For a look back at the history of the world and some predictions for the future, click here for Special Series: Preparing for the Third Millennium with Y2000: A Beacon for Humanity.

(12/29/99) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) released new MEPS data on prescription drug expenditures, December 15, 1999.

(12/28/99) Click here for Fortune's annual cover story:"100 Best Companies to Work For."

(12/28/99) Hewitt Associates reports on holiday bonus and gift practices at 268 companies nationwide: Holiday Bonuses Alive but Fading.

(12/27/99) Click here to read Republican presidential candidate John McCain's statements on various health care issues.

(12/23/99) Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General is the first Surgeon General's report on mental health in the United States.

(12/23/99) Click here to read the September 1998, Journal of Legal Medicine article: "The Emerging Convergence of the Doctrine of Informed Consent and the Judicial Reinterpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act" by Wayne Blackmon.

(12/23/99) The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) has posted an Analysis of Managed Care Legislation.

(12/22/99) "Compiled from more than 12,000 surveys conducted in the United States and 70 other countries, the 250,000 questions and responses in Polling the Nations are the most comprehensive collection of polling data anywhere." ORS Publishing now makes the database available online via an annual subscription.

(12/21/99) Standard & Poor’s Insurance Ratings Services rates the financial strength of more than 4,000 insurance companies worldwide, within the life, health, property/casualty, reinsurance, mortgage, and title sectors. A new search engine on its Insurance Ratings web site allows Internet users to get, free of charge, financial strength ratings and information.

(12/20/99) Click here to go to the William M. Mercer index page where you can find the December 14 press releases on the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans 1999.

(12/17/99) The International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and Deloitte & Touche LLP Announce Results of Annual National Employee Benefit Survey. Click here for the press releaseClick here to view a draft version of the survey report.

(12/17/99) Out-of-Pocket Spending on Health Care by Medicare Beneficiaries Age 65 and Older: 1999 Projections is a recent release from AARP's Public Policy Institute.

(12/17/99) The Congressional Budget Office has posted the November 1999 report: Comparing the Pay and Benefits of Federal and Nonfederal Executives.

(12/16/99) Click here for the AP story: Republican presidential candidate John McCain accused both parties of malpractice in their handling of the nation's health care system Tuesday, and offered a $4.3 billion prescription to ``make care more accessible and affordable to all Americans.''

(12/16/99) "Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. and mortgage.com offer zero downpayment mortgages at advantageous rates exclusively for retirement plan participants." Click here for the company press release: Mortgage Acceptance Program (MAP100) Debuts Mortgages for Retirement Plans.

(12/16/99) Business Attitudes Toward Health Insurance Coverage of Employees and Their Dependent Children, published August 1999, reports the results from a national survey by Lake Snell Perry & Associates for the Economic And Social Research Institute.

(12/14/99) A national survey of workers' compensation managed care organizations just released by URAC (also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission) and is part of URAC's Workers' Compensation Performance Measurement Project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Workers' Compensation Health Initiative, was designed to collect information on the availability of data for reporting on health care quality.

(12/13/99) Check out EconData.Net: Your Guide to Regional Economic Activity on the Web. The site has "more than 400 links to socioeconomic data sources, arranged by subject and provider, pointers to the Web's premiere data collections, and their own list of the ten best sites for finding regional economic data."

(12/10/99) On December 6 President Clinton signed the agency reauthorization legislation officially creating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Effective on his signature, the name of the agency officially changed from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), pronounced "arc."

(12/10/99) Tax Extender Law to Include Employee Benefit Provisions reports Ernst & Young LLP.

(12/10/99) Breaking News from the Associated Press on The New York Times on the Web on December 9, 1999: Gov't Pension Databases Not Secure.

(12/10/99) Work in Progress: Employee Benefits: Hard-Won and Ever-Changing Package by Liz Pulliam, LA Times Staff Writer, is a brief history of employee benefits in the United States. The article quotes EBRI's president Dallas L. Salisbury.

(12/10/9) The Health Insurance Association of America released December 8 a new report titled Health Insurance Coverage and the Uninsured: 1990-1998. Click here for the press release which provides links to the fulltext of the report.

(12/9/99) Click here for the December 7 remarks by President Clinton on health care and his initiatives on preventing medical errors.

(12/8/99) The 1999 Technical Panel of Assumptions and Methods Report to the Social Security Advisory Board has been posted.

(12/8/99) Social Security Costs Said Too Low by Alice Ann Love, Associated Press writer, is about the recent report from the bipartisan panel, which included economists, demographers and other experts from business and academia, that was convened by the Social Security Advisory Board.

(12/8/99) The minority staff of the House Committee on Government Reform released a study on November 9, 1999, entitled Prescription Drug Pricing in the United States: Drug Companies Profit at the Expense of Older Americans.

(12/7/99) The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has published a recent study entitled "Investing Social Security Trust Funds in the Stock Market" in the December 1999 issue of Chicago Fed Letter.

(12/7/99) Click here to read Retirement Age Climbing to 67 by Alice Ann Love, Associated Press writer, on the coming changes to the Social Security retirement age.

(12/7/99) The International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists recently released a survey of its members entitled Health Benefits for Alternative Medicine: Is There a Fit?

(12/6/99) Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the federal agency that administers the Medicare, Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Programs has released Health Care Indicators: Hospital, Employment, and Price Indicators for the Health Care Industry for the second quarter, 1999.

(12/6/99) Plan Sponsor’s third annual Defined Contribution Services Survey, The Best of the Best, is based on nearly twice the number of respondents of the 1998 survey sample.

(12/6/99) The 1999 edition of America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, issued by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, represents a comprehensive look at such critical aspects of child well-being as family structure, economic security, health status, access to health care, behavior, social environment, and education.

(12/3/99) A new Web site, freeERISA.com, allows you to locate, view and download facsimiles of employers’ most recent form 5500, as filed with the United States Department of Labor.

(12/3/99) Brookings Priorities 2000: An Issues Agenda for the Presidential Election "is a year-long series of forums, books, policy briefs, and website features launched by the Brookings Institution to encourage the presidential candidates to address eight important issues confronting the nation as it enters the 21st century.

(12/3/99) 401Kafe's newest feature article is titled: Automatic Enrollment in 401(k) Plans On the Rise.

(12/2/99) Recently posted online -- Cash Balance Plans: Questions & Answers -- by the U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, with links to more pension plan participant information.

(12/2/99) The IRS has modified prior guidance regarding defined benefit pension plan funding methods. Revenue Procedure 99-45 modifies Rev. Proc. 95-51 which provides approval to change the funding method (including the asset valuation method) used for a defined benefit pension plan.

(12/1/99) Click here for health care and human resource issues currently in the news on a page produced by the American Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration.

(12/1/99) "At Ernst & Young's online resource for health care privacy you'll find information about the development of health care privacy legislation, regulation, and other standards."

(12/1/99) The Employment Policy Foundation presents an article in Future Trends titled "Telecommuting: Work is Virtually Something You Do, Not Somewhere You Go" with strategies for implementation.

(12/1/99) Click here to read a press release from the March of Dimes Birth defects Foundation titled: "Many Women of Childbearing Age Still Without Health Insurance Coverage."

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Updated 12/30/99