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

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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An SPD Can be a Plan Document

By Angela Bohmann | February 13, 2014

Health Plan, Uncategorized In Cigna v. Amara, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the plan document is the governing document for an ERISA plan and that in a conflict between the plan document and the summary plan description (SPD), the plan document must be enforced. A participant misled by an SPD may be able to bring various claims based on the...

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Former Employee Cannot Recover Penalties for COBRA Notice Violation

By Angela Bohmann | February 11, 2014

Health Plan Terminating employees who lose coverage under an employer’s group health plan are frequently entitled to continue that coverage under the federal law commonly known as COBRA. Employers are required to provide a former employee with a notice at the time of termination of employment describing the employee’s rights...

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More About HRAs and Some About EAPs

By Angela Bohmann | October 11, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan I blogged recently about IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance restricting the ability of employers to subsidize individual health insurance premiums for their employees after December 31, 2013. That IRS and DOL guidance also addressed a few other issues. The guidance provides that HRA amounts credited to an...

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No More Pre-Tax Premiums for Individual Insurance Policies?

By Angela Bohmann | October 10, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Compensation Questions, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have obtained. Under an old IRS revenue ruling, Rev. Rul. 61-146, that type of premium subsidy could...

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Federal Agencies Issue Guidance that Valid Same Sex Marriages Recognized for All Federal Tax Purposes

By Jeffrey Cairns | September 19, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Retirement Plans On August 29, 2013, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a public announcement and released Revenue Ruling 2013-17 wherein it answered a number of open questions concerning the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision, United States v. Windsor. This is the case that overturned the federal...

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