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and not current news, we hope you will understand our policy and the use for which it is
What's new at EBRI this month:
The EBRI Issue Brief
and EBRI Notes for the month of
October are available online for ordering. The October Issue Brief is entitled
"Health Care Consolidation and the Changing Health Care Marketplace: A Review of the
Literature and Issues." The October
Notes articles are "Prescription Drugs Utilization and Physician
Visits" and "Lump-Sum Distributions Total $87.2 Billion in 1995."
Statement of Jack VanDerhei before
the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Hearing on Hybrid Pensions,
September 21, 1999.
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
- Age Differences
- Confidence in Health Care Today
- Confidence in the Future of Health Care
- Gender Differences
- Health Status Differences
- Satisfaction with Managed Care
- Managed Care Confusion
What's new in employee benefits:
News Online -- a daily update from the Society for Human Resource Management
- The following items have been added to the General Accounting Office's Web site in
Portable Document (PDF) format:
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.
here to read the Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate of October 28, 1999, on the
Health Information Confidentiality Act of 1999: Chairman's Mark of June 11, 1999.
(10/28/99) The Bureau of Labor Statistics has posted the complete bulletin titled: Employee
Benefits in Medium and Large Private Establishments, 1997. Go to the
Publications and Other Documentation section of the Employee
Benefits Survey page to find the link to the PDF of the bulletin.
(10/28/99) "The 1999
Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey is undertaken jointly by the Kaiser Family
Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. The survey was formerly
conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick from 1991 to 1998. The survey tracks changes in
employer-based health care coverage."
could tarnish the golden years" by Eileen Ambrose found on The Baltimore Sun's
Sunspot site cites EBRI and ASEC.
Health Coverage: Recent Trends and Employer Perspectives on Future Benefits is an
October 1999 report prepared by Hewitt Associates for the Henry J. Kaiser Family
(10/26/99) BusinessWeek Online's October 25th Daily Briefing: "Fewer
Americans Have Health Coverage, but There's a Silver Lining" cites EBRI
researcher Paul Fronstin.
Fairmodel "site brings the power of large scale macroeconometric analysis to
anyone with access to the internet. It is a resource for business forecasters, government
policy analysts, macroeconomic researchers, teachers, and students."
Trends in Compensation Practices (July 1999) by David Lebow, Louise Sheiner, Larry
Slifman, and Martha Starr-McCluer is from the Finance and Economics Discussion Series of
the Federal Reserve Board.
(10/22/99) "Representative Lazio (R-NY) has introduced H.R. 3081, "The Wage
and Employment Growth Act of 1999," which includes all of the pension reform measures
previously included in Title XII of H.R. 2488, the tax bill vetoed by President Clinton in
here for an Investment Company Institute analysis of the pension provisions of the
99-95 contains The Internal Revenue Services's determination that the applicable
number of Medical Savings Account (MSA) returns filed for 1998 is 32,371 and that the
applicable number of MSA returns projected to be filed for 1999 is 44,784.
(10/22/99) Carol V. Calhoun's Employee Benefits Legal Resource Site provides a table
combining the effects of the cost-of-living adjustments on Maximum
Benefits and Contributions Limits for 1996-2000.
here to read the Internal Revenue Service release on cost of living adjustments
applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for tax year 2000.
(10/21/99) The Department of Human Resources at Southern Illinois University at
Carbondale has listed EBRI as #4 on its BenefitsNet:
A list of the top ten 10 benefits-related Web sites for Human Resource staff members.
(10/20/99)The Internal Revenue Service announced October 19, 1999, the cost-of-living
adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for benefits under qualified retirement plans
and to other provisions affecting such plans. The 2000 limit for 401(k) contributions
increases from $10,000 to $10,500. The defined benefit section 415 limit increases to
$135,000. The defined contribution section 415 limit remains unchanged at $30,000, and the
annual compensation limit increased from $160,000 to $170,000. The limit for highly
compensated employees increases from $80,000 to $85,000. A link to the full text of
IR-1999-80 will be posted here as soon as available on the IRS site.
(10/20/99) The Third Millennium Cash Balance Pension Plan Survey (October 1999)
was commissioned by the non-partisan Generation X advocacy group Third Millennium:
(10/20/99) Social Security Commissioner Kenneth S. Apfel announced a 2.4 percent Social
Security increase for 2000. Click
here for the press release. A fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic
adjustments is available by clicking
Department of Health and Human Services announced the 2000 Medicare changes regarding
premiums and deductibles.
here to read about the recently founded Association of Workers Compensation
(10/19/99) The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) released a
press release with the names of the group of health plans from across the nation that
have earned NCQA's new 'Excellent' Accreditation status.
Best Co. today began providing, without charge, its Best's Ratings and insurer profiles
on the Internet to help consumers make more informed insurance-buying decisions."
Health Insurance That Best Meets Your Needs: A Proposal from the AMA is posted on
the Web site of the American Medical Association.
(10/18/99) Hoover's Online provides a great reference source -- The
List of Lists -- a compilation of links to external lists at a variety of sources
that rank companies and people in a number of ways.
Clinton announced on October 12 that the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and
Research (AHCPR), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the U.S. Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA) will fund a set of research studies to help public
health insurance programs and health care delivery systems improve the quality of, and
access to, health care for low-income children. Overall funding will total $9.1 million
over three years for nine research projects.
(10/15/99) The Department of Labor has established a Web site, Futurework
- Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century, and posted a
report of the same name.
here to read the press release on Hewitt Associates' report: Part-Time Employee
Benefits in 1999.
(10/14/99) The U.S. Administration on Aging has posted "Side-by-Side
Comparison Chart: Proposals for Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act -- 1999.
However, on October 4, 1999, H.R. 782, one of the bills to reauthorize the Older Americans
Act was taken off the agenda by the leadership of the House Committee on Education and the
(10/14/99) The Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans' amicus
brief in Georgia Pacific vs. Lyons, an 11th Circuit (Fla/Ga/Ala) case, in which
"the principal issue on appeal involves the correct method of calculating lump sum
payments under a cash balance pension plan" is posted on their site.
the Pension Tension at IBM, an interview with Olivia Mitchell, director of
Whartons Pension Research Council, looks at the pros and cons of cash-balance plans
and how they fit into companies long-range strategy.
Due Diligence: The Devil in the Details" is the feature article this week at Workforce
Online. Learn what due diligence is needed during corporate mergers and how benefits
and pensions are affected.
in European Pension Reform is an October 1999, paper by Tryggvi Thor Herbertsson
and J. Michael Orszag.
(10/13/99) The U.S. Census Bureau recently released Money
Income in the United States: 1998, based on the March 1999 Current Population
(10/12/99) The Birkbeck Pensions Economics & Finance Faculty and their
collaborators from the Department of Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London,
has established a Web site called Pensions@Birkbeck.
It also provides a link to the Pensions Institute at Birkbeck College Web site.
here to read a short description of the best employee "perk" ever offered
(in the humble opinion of this What's New page manager).
here for the article of the week from Lawyers Weekly USA: "HMO Can Be Sued
for Medical Malpractice Not Preempted by ERISA" by Jennifer W. Mathews. Various
cases involved are reviewed briefly.
(10/8/99) Merck has made the 17th edition of The
Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy available on their web site free
of charge. Merck also provides the entire 2nd edition of The Merck Manual of Geriatrics and part of The Merck Manual of Medical Information--Home Edition
on their Web site for free as well.
(10/7/99) Hewitt Associates posts its New
Year 2000 Holiday Time Off Survey Results.
(10/6/99) On October 4, 1999, Paul Fronstin, Senior Research Associate with EBRI spoke
with NPR's Julie Rovner about a new study from the Census Bureau showing that the number
of people without health coverage rose by one million last year and now stands at over 44
here to listen to the interview.
(10/6/99) AARP's most recent research on economic security and work:
Care in the U.S. Marketplace is posted on the Milliman & Robertson site.
Affordable Health Insurance to the Uninsurable" by Conrad F. Meier is the August
27, 1999, Heartland Policy Study No. 91 from The Heartland Institute.
Insurance Coverage: 1998 from the Current Population Reports P-60 series is
posted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Tobias' Mutual Fund Cost Calculator site allows users to compare fees, transaction and
distribution costs, taxes, and returns on mutual fund investments.
(10/1/99) The Center for Health Care Policy and Evaluation has posted online: A
Guide to Research on the Effectiveness of Managed Care Health Plans: An Annotated
Bibliography of Key Findings From 1990 to 1998, 2nd Edition, August 1999.
(10/1/99) Work/life balance issues play an important role in keeping top information
technology (IT) talent, according to a
new survey of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) by RHI Consulting.
Click here for the PricewaterhouseCoopers report: President Clintons Medicare
Prescription Drug Benefit: An Analysis of Displacement of Employer-Sponsored Retiree
Prescription Drug Coverage done for the Citizens for Better Medicare.