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 ANNOUNCES 2015 BENEFIT PLAN LIMITS

By Benefits Notes Team | 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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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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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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Oral COBRA Notice OK?

By Angela Bohmann | August 21, 2014

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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Welfare Benefit Plan Might not be Required to Cover Same Sex Spouses

By Angela Bohmann | May 16, 2014

Health Plan, Welfare Plans Much has been written about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last term declaring unconstitutional the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that required federal law not to recognize same sex marriages. Since then, more states have recognized same sex marriages either by court order or...

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Can a Failure to Hire Violate ERISA?

By Angela Bohmann | May 13, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan A recent decision of the federal district court for the southern district of Ohio raises interesting questions under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that might also affect employer liability under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case involved a challenge by a former employee who was...

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ACA Pay or Play: Is Your Dependent Coverage Compliant?

By Angela Bohmann | March 25, 2014

Health Care Reform, Health Plan Now that the IRS has issued final regulations under Section 4980H, the so-called “pay or play” provision of the Affordable Care Act, employers are deciding how to determine whether employees are full-time (30 hours or more a week on average), whether the coverage the employer offers is affordable (generally no...

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DOL Has Helpful ERISA Self-Compliance Tool

By Angela Bohmann | February 28, 2014

Form 5500s, Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Department of Labor recently issued the Form M-1, an annual report that must be filed by Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). In general, a MEWA is an arrangement that offers health or other welfare benefits to employees of more than one employer. Employers that are part of a controlled group of...

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Health Plans Should Make Eligibility Determinations Quickly

By Sam Butler | February 18, 2014

Health Plan, Welfare Plans In an opinion released earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a self-insured health plan was not entitled to a refund of the nearly $1.7 million it paid to two Wisconsin hospitals for treatment administered to a participant's newborn child, despite the plan's...

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