Benefits Notes |

Employee benefits are an important part of every employees' total compensation package. The continuously evolving landscape in the areas of health care reform, retirement plan design, and executive compensation makes it difficult for employee benefits professionals to keep up with relevant developments. The employee benefits attorneys at Stinson Leonard Street provide human resources professionals, plan fiduciaries, actuaries, accountants, and others in the industry with practical and cost-effective assistance as they navigate through the complex laws, regulations and guidance that govern employee benefits plans. This blog highlights key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. Our Bloggers →

Latest Benefits Notes Posts

Attention All You Procrastinators!

By Angela Bohmann | November 17, 2014

Health Care Reform The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has postponed to 11:59 pm on December 5, 2014, the deadline for health insurance issuers and self funded plans to submit their annual enrollment count for the transitional reinsurance program. The deadline was otherwise November 15, 2014. The payment deadlines of...

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IRS ANNOUNCES 2015 BENEFIT PLAN LIMITS

By Jewelie Grape | October 24, 2014

Health Plan, Retirement Plans The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2015 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Announces-2015-Pension-Plan-Limitations;-Taxpayers-May-Contribute-up-to-$18,000-to-their-401(k)-plans-in-2015 The...

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Pruitt v. Burwell Ruling Unlikely to have Major Impact on Employers in Near Term

By Sam Butler and Tom Dowling | October 1, 2014

Health Care Reform On Tuesday, September 30, federal Judge Ronald White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled in Pruitt v. Burwell that the plain text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") does not allow for the provision of subsidies to individuals purchasing health coverage through a federally-facilitated...

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Penalty for Employer Missed COBRA Notice Affirmed

By Angela Bohmann | September 17, 2014

Health Plan Almost two years ago I blogged about a federal district court decision from Alabama that imposed a penalty of $37,950 ($75 a day) on an employer that failed to provide a COBRA notice for a dental plan to a former employee. With attorneys’ fees and costs, the employer owed a total of $83,063.45. That case has now...

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Employers Should Monitor Closely Group Term Life Insurance Enrollments

By Angela Bohmann | August 27, 2014

Welfare Plans Many employers offer group term life insurance, including supplemental life. Often an employee who wants to buy coverage above a particular level after an initial open enrollment period must show evidence of insurability. This requirement is present to protect the plan from adverse selection so that employees do not...

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Failure to Cover Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism Spectrum Disorder Violates Federal Mental Health Parity Law

By Angela Bohmann | August 22, 2014

Health Plan Parents have searched for effective therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder. One therapy that has shown promise, at least for some children, is applied behavior analysis (“ABA”), which is an intensive behavioral interaction health service. However, ABA is expensive, in some cases requiring many hours...

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Governments May Be Exempt From ERISA, But They Are Not Exempt From Securities Laws

By Angela Bohmann | August 21, 2014

Retirement Plans ERISA lawyers know that employee benefit plans offered by state and local governments to their employees are not subject to ERISA, the federal law that generally governs benefit plans of private employers. However, other federal laws can reach government plans. For example, the Securities & Exchange Commission...

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Lost Participant? Did you Try Google?

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently updated its guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries on due diligence and efforts to locate missing participants in the case of terminated defined contribution plans. Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01...

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Oral COBRA Notice OK?

Health Plan In a recent District Court opinion, a judge dismissed a COBRA claim against an employer based on the oral notice the employer gave a former employee of her right to continue coverage under COBRA. The court said that the statute does not specify the form the notice must take and the employer’s oral notification was...

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Filed Your 2013 Health and Welfare Plan 5500s? Did you Include Your M-1 Attachments?

By Jeffrey Cairns | August 1, 2014

Cafeteria Plans, Form 5500s, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans A provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included additional reporting requirements and greater U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversight of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued final rules earlier in 2014 which clarified the...

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