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

Okay for Health Plan to Cover Same Sex but not Opposite Sex Domestic Partners

By Angela Bohmann | June 21, 2013

Health Plan I have always been interested in the intersection of employment law and benefits law. Among those intersections is the extent to which employment law discrimination rules may apply to benefit plans. A recent Minnesota federal District Court decision addressed that issue in the context of an employee who added an...

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New Requirements for BAAs

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan As many employers know, HIPAA rules require them to sign on behalf of their health plans Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) with the vendors who assist in plan administration. Many employers also know that earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued final regulations which will require...

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IRS Issues Q&As on Affordable Care Act Research Trust Fund Fees – First Filings Due July 31, 2013

By Jeffrey Cairns | June 14, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a number of new taxes and fees to be assessed to pay for many of the new federal health care mandates. One of such fees is called the Patient- Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee (“PCORI fee”), which is to be remitted to a new Patient-Centered Outcome Research...

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Effect on Employers of Same Sex Marriage in Minnesota

By Angela Bohmann | May 20, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans As many of our readers know, on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Minnesota became the twelfth state to recognize same sex marriages.  The effective date of the change is August 1, 2013, which gives employers some time to react to the change and analyze its effect on their employment policies and benefits.  We sent an Alert to...

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Employers – Are You Updating Your HIPAA documents?

By Benefits Notes Team | May 15, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan The Department of Health and Human Services released final Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security regulations on January 25, 2013. These regulations impact covered entities, including group health plans, most health care flexible spending accounts, and their business...

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A Self-Funded Employer’s Worst Nightmare

By Angela Bohmann | May 13, 2013

Health Plan Employers who sponsor health plans for their employees can purchase insurance contracts to fund those plans. Alternatively, employers can self-fund or self-insure those benefits, agreeing to pay the claims themselves. Many employers who provide self-funded plans also buy stop-loss insurance to cover the risk of...

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EEOC Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Wellness Plans

By Angela Bohmann | April 30, 2013

Health Plan Many employers are offering wellness programs to employees in connection with their health plans and are aware of the HIPAA regulations that govern such programs. Although employers design their wellness programs to conform to the HIPAA guidance, they sometimes forget that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)...

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The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Plan Sponsor’s Recovery of Participant Damages Award

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 17, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On April 16, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/11-1285_i4dk.pdf finding in favor of U.S. Airways in its quest to recover $66,866 in medical expenses incurred by its employee as a result of a traffic accident. McCutchen was a...

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DOL Publishes Helpful Self Compliance Tools

By Angela Bohmann | March 6, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Department of Labor has published two checklists that plan sponsors can use to test their compliance with group health plan requirements. One checklist addresses the Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform) provisions, including a plan’s status as a “grandfathered” plan exempt from some ACA...

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Proposed Rules Issued on Contraceptive Coverage

By Benefits Notes Team | February 8, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans to cover certain women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible. On January 30, 2013, the Obama Administration released proposed rules that continue to implement provisions in the health care law providing women...

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