Understanding Employee Benefits

Business As Usual: Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies

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The United States Supreme Court recently held in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits individuals to receive health insurance premium subsidies through federally-facilitated exchanges (in addition to state-based exchanges). Because this decision is consistent with existing agency interpretation, the decision has little direct effect on employer-sponsored... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans

Same Sex Marriage: Effect on Benefits

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The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an employer’s current employee benefits plan, certain provisions may need to be changed in light of this ruling. For those employers who already provide... Read More

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

Standard of Review is Important – Again

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I recently blogged about the importance the standard of review can make when a court decides whether a claims decision made under an employer plan will be upheld. My recent blog post dealt with the standard of review under a top-hat plan, a plan for executives. Another recent case makes... Read More

Topics: Welfare Plans

Are Top Hat Plans Entitled to a Discretionary Standard of Review?

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Many years ago the Supreme Court decided that qualified retirement plans that gave their fiduciaries discretion to determine plan benefits were entitled to have their decisions, reviewed by a court under a generous “abuse of discretion” standard. Although that standard may be limited in situations in which the plan administrator... Read More

Topics: Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation

Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

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My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidance from the EEOC reiterated that compliance... Read More

Topics: Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll