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

Employers – Are You Updating Your HIPAA documents?

By Lori | 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...


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...


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)...


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 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...


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...


Proposed Rules Issued on Contraceptive Coverage

By Lori | 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...


More HIPAA Compliance – Final Regulations

By Angela Bohmann | February 7, 2013

Health Plan My colleague, Jessica Kracl, has written an Alert  for our health care clients about the recently issued privacy and security regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Employer group health plans are covered entities under HIPAA and therefore must comply with the new...


Deficient Mobile Device Security Leads to HIPAA Breach Settlement

By Angela Bohmann | January 16, 2013

Health Plan My colleague, Blake Schofield, has sent an Alert to our health law clients regarding an enforcement action taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) against a hospice provider in Idaho relating to a stolen laptop. The number of affected patients was less than 500. The OCR...


Remember to report the value of health coverage on employees’ 2012 Form W-2s

By Lori | January 2, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers who issue 250 or more W-2s in a year to report the aggregate cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan in Box 12 of each employee’s Form W-2, using code DD. In general, the amount reported should include both the employer and...


Certain Plan Designs Will Cost More Under the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fees

By Angela Bohmann | December 24, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Affordable Care Act establishes a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute as a private nonprofit corporation to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers and policy makers in making informed health decisions using evidence based medicine. The Institute is to be funded through a trust fund called the...