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1st Quarter 2008

Quote of the Month: “ I can’t understand why people are
frightened by new ideas. I’m frightened of old ones.”
John Cage (1912-1992)

Overview of Retiree Health VEBAs
Excerpt: “Stuart Wohl, senior vice president at The Segal Company and retiree health care practice leader, points out some of the things that retiree health VEBAs can do . . . .” (The Segal Group, Inc.)

Buck Consultants Survey: Health Care Costs Projected to Increase at Double-Digit Levels Excerpt: Costs for the most popular types of health care coverage are projected to increase at double-digit rates through the remainder of 2007 and into 2008, according to a national survey of insurers and administrators. The survey released today by Buck Consultants, an ACS company and one of the world’s leading human resource and benefits consulting firms, analyzed responses from 79 health insurers, HMOs, and third-party administrators

Some Companies Use VEBAs to Clear Retiree Healthcare Liabilities from Balance Sheets Excerpt: “VEBAs have existed in some form since 1928, but only recently have companies begun to shift not just a portion of their health-benefits expense but the entire obligation to trusts administered by unions. The appeal for a company is clear: it negotiates a lump-sum payment that allows it to clear a costly obligation off its books.” (CFO.com)

Overview: CMS Announces Indexed Medicare Part D Amounts For 2008(The Segal Company)  Excerpt: “The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) requires CMS to announce indexed Medicare Part D standard defined benefit amounts each year that reflect the increase in drug costs. The increase for the deductible, initial coverage limit and out-of-pocket threshold for 2008 is 4.64 percent.”

Articles courtesy of: Benefitslink.com, Benefitnews.com, Bizjournals.com, AHIP.org, BusinessInsurance.com, NAHU.org, WEBNetwork.org, Insurancebroadcasting.com, SeniorMarketAdvisor.com, SHRM.org,  Accountingweb.com, Benefitadvisorsnetwork.com, GASB.org, Medicare.gov,cms.hhs.gov