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

Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act – Open Questions for Benefit Plan Sponsors

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 16, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Payroll, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On June 26, 2013, in a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a violation of Fifth Amendment guarantees of equal protection and equal liberty. The case, United States v. Windsor No.12-307(US June 26, 2013) ...

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The White House Blog: Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Care Act Delayed for One Year

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 3, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans On July 2 the White House announced that it is delaying the enforcement of the employer mandate that it provide health care coverage to employees or pay a penalty (the “play or pay” provisions) until 2015. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/we-re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law. According to...

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Health Insurance Carriers Must Also be Careful in What They Tell Plan Participants

By Angela Bohmann | June 26, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan I blogged recently warning employers to be careful when enrolling employees in plan benefits because the employer could be responsible to pay life insurance or disability benefits if an employee who is improperly enrolled incurs a claim. The increased liability comes from the recent Supreme Court decision, Cigna v....

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Final Regulations Issued on Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans

By Benefits Notes Team | June 21, 2013

Health Plan, Welfare Plans HIPAA nondiscrimination provisions prohibit group health plans and health insurance issuers from discriminating against individual participants and beneficiaries in eligibility, benefits, or premiums based on a health factor.  Wellness programs offered in conjunction with group health plans must also be...

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

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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