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 Health Plan Posts

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2018

By Mark Wilkins | October 23, 2017

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2018 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here.  The Service also announced various other inflation adjustments in...

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New Law Permits Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) For Small Employers

By Todd Martin | December 14, 2016

Cafeteria Plans, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On December 13, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. The law had been approved with bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 392 to 26 and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5.  The law addresses a number of health care issues such as streamlining the process for FDA approval of drugs...

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

By Abigail Clark | October 28, 2016

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts. Changes from 2016 were minimal. Notice 2016-62 is available...

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Proposed Form 5500 Changes & the new Schedule J: Big Changes for Small Group Health Plans

By Abigail Clark | July 26, 2016

Form 5500s, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to the Form 5500 and schedules that will affect ERISA Title I group health plans of all sizes, but small group health plans should be especially aware of the changes. Certain small group health plans (fewer than 100 participants) are currently exempt from filing...

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EEOC Issues New Wellness Guidance

By Angela Bohmann | May 26, 2016

Health Plan, Welfare Plans My colleagues in the Labor and Employment Group have published an Alert on the new wellness guidance from the EEOC. It is linked here.

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What You Say in Your SPD About Claims Processing Makes a Difference

By Angela Bohmann | April 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan Employers who self fund their medical plans often have contracts with their third party administrators about claims processing. Some of those contracts provide that the claims processor has discretion to decide claims; others provide that the claims processor is simply acting in a ministerial fashion so that the...

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Bad COBRA Notices Can Cost You

By Angela Bohmann | April 12, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan Sun Trust Bank was sued in a class action challenging its COBRA notice. The plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit claimed that the COBRA notice was materially deficient in that it failed to provide the name and address of the party responsible under the plan for COBRA administration and that it failed to provide an...

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Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures, Part 2

By Angela Bohmann | March 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans I blogged a few days ago about the U.S. Supreme Court decision making it harder for plans to recover from a third-party settlement fund for the amount the plan paid when a participant is injured by that third-party. A recent federal district court decision highlights the need to provide appropriate notice of the...

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Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures

By Angela Bohmann | March 23, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans Most self-funded ERISA medical plans provide that participants who have been injured by other people (think car accidents) must reimburse the plan if the participant recovers from the other person for those injuries. In order to obtain that reimbursement, a plan document must contain appropriate...

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EEOC Loses Another Wellness Case, Part 2 – Beware the ACA Penalties

By Angela Bohmann | March 4, 2016

Health Care Reform, Health Plan In my last blog post, I discussed a recent loss by the EEOC in its efforts to limit the ability of employers to require employees to complete health risk assessments (HRAs) or biometric screenings in order to enroll in the employer's health plan. I said that I would discuss an Affordable Care Act (ACA) reason why...

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