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 Welfare Plans Posts

Bad Faith Termination Can be Good ERISA Interference Claim

By Angela Bohmann | November 14, 2013

Welfare Plans It is not uncommon for employers to have executive severance plans that pay substantial severance if an executive loses employment in connection with a change in control. In a recent federal district court decision, a former chief executive officer sued an employer for $700,000 claimed to be owed as severance as a...

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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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Courts Do Not Always Agree

By Angela Bohmann | August 5, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Welfare Plans I blogged recently about a decision from a federal district court in Virginia (Eastern Distrct) involving a widow who sought to recover life insurance benefits from her late husband’s employer-sponsored group term life insurance plan. The employer had improperly allowed the late husband to enroll in the plan.  The...

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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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Be Careful With Your Life Insurance Enrollments

By Angela Bohmann | June 25, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Welfare Plans Over the years there have been a number of cases that have involved employers improperly enrolling employees in group life or disability insurance benefits. If the employee who should not have been enrolled dies or becomes disabled, the insurance carrier will deny coverage on the grounds that the employee should never...

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

By Lori | 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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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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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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