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

It Pays to Add a Statute of Limitations to Your Plan’s Claims Procedure

By Angela Bohmann | March 12, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Welfare Plans ERISA requires that plans contain a reasonable claims procedure. Courts have generally required claimants to exhaust that claims procedure before filing a lawsuit. In addition, if the plan gives the plan administrator discretion to interpret the plan and decide claims, a court will often give deference to the plan...

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A Wrap Plan Can Be Helpful

By Angela Bohmann | November 29, 2012

Welfare Plans Many employers know that one benefit to an ERISA plan is the standard of review available when the participant brings a lawsuit for benefits under the plan. If the plan documents give the plan administrator discretion to decide claims, then the court will review the exercise of the plan administrator’s discretion...

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Can I Add a No Compete Provision to a Severance Agreement?

By Angela Bohmann | November 20, 2012

Welfare Plans Pactiv Corporation sponsored a severance plan subject to ERISA. The plan required an employee to sign a separation agreement and release in a “form acceptable to the company” in order for the employee to be entitled to a payment under the plan. The severance plan itself did not contain a no compete provision. When...

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Another Health Insurance/Disability Insurance Coverage Issue

By Angela Bohmann | September 11, 2012

Health Plan, Welfare Plans I recently blogged about an employer who continued health insurance coverage for an employee on short term disability in contravention of the health plan document. The employer lost its stop-loss coverage for health claims incurred by the disabled employee because the health plan document did not specifically allow...

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Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 2, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans             Last Thursday, June 28, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the “Affordable Care Act” or “Act”) is constitutional paving the way for final implementation of its provisions....

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Health Care Reform – What if it is Struck Down?

By Jeffrey Cairns | June 12, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans             There has been much discussion and blogging about different possible outcomes from the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, it is only recently that we are starting to see articles analyzing the effect that a complete repeal might have. If the Supreme Court...

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Short Term Disability Plan as a Payroll Practice

By Angela Bohmann | May 16, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Welfare Plans I blogged recently about an Eighth Circuit decision where the court concluded that a deferred compensation agreement with a single employee did not constitute an ERISA plan. I warned employers that courts do not always accept an employer’s characterization of a plan or program as being covered by ERISA. Another...

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Bad Things Can Happen to Employers Who Do Not Follow the Terms of Their Group Health Insurance Policies

Health Plan, Welfare Plans Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (“Blue Cross”) insured New Life Homecare, Inc. (“New Life”) under a group health insurance contract. The insurance contract required New Life to enroll at least 75% of its eligible participants in the plan and provided that no more than 15% of the eligible employees...

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408(b) (2) Disclosures – That Wasn’t So Bad Was It?

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 24, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Health Plan, Welfare Plans Last week I received copies of the first new fiduciary fee disclosures required by final Department of Labor Regulations under ERISA Section 408(b) (2).  Fee disclosures were received from Fidelity Investments and Prudential Financial, providers to two client retirement plans.  The details of the required...

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Health Care Reform Challenges – Oral Arguments at the Supreme Court

By Lori | March 23, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On Monday March 26th, almost exactly two years after its enactment on March 23, 2010, the United States Supreme Court will begin the first of three days of oral arguments relating to the health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”). The Supreme Court agreed to hear six...

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