Understanding Employee Benefits

Are All Severance Plans Subject to ERISA?

By

I blogged recently about an ERISA case involving an executive severance plan where the executive sued claiming that his employment termination was effective before the first anniversary of a change in control, thereby entitling him to severance benefits under the plan. The court had concluded that the severance occurred after... Read More

Topics: Welfare Plans

No More Pre-Tax Premiums for Individual Insurance Policies?

By

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... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Compensation Questions, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans

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

By

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)  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_6j37.pdf dealt with the... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Payroll, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

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

By

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 the White House Blog, the other provisions of the Affordable Care... Read More

Topics: Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans

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

By

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 nondiscriminatory. Final regulations issued on June 3, 2013, describe nondiscriminatory... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Welfare Plans