Stacy H. Barrow

Stacy H. Barrow

Proskauer Rose LLP

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The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

2/17/2015 - Employer Group Health Plans Employer Healthcare Costs Health Insurance M&G Polymers v Tackett Retirement SCOTUS Vested Benefits Yard Man

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Laws

It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two important questions relating to same-sex marriage–whether states are required to allow same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions, and whether states are...more

1/19/2015 - Jurisdiction Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS

Deja-Vu All Over Again: Congress Once Again Retroactively Increases Mass Transit Benefit Limits

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (“TIPA”) in December 2014, effective for 2014, mass transit commuters were only able to contribute a maximum of $130 per month on a pre-tax basis toward their...more

1/16/2015 - Commuter Tax Benefits Employee Benefits Fringe Benefits Mass Transit

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2014

This month's newsletter focuses on how Plan Trustees can appropriately settle ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims in order to achieve "complete peace." The article provides a check list and discusses strategies for handling...more

12/23/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Breach of Duty ERISA Fiduciary Duty Plan Administrators

SCOTUS to Review Subsidy Issue

On November 7, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was going to review King v. Burwell. At issue in the case is whether Fourth Circuit correctly determined that the IRS did not exceed its authority when it released a rule in...more

11/11/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare Healthcare Reform King v Burwell SCOTUS Subsidies Tax Credits

IRS to Close “Loophole” on “Sub-Standard” Plans without Hospitalization or Physician Services Coverage

On November 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that it intends to close a perceived “loophole” in health care reform. This so-called loophole allows employers to offer low cost health plans that don’t...more

11/7/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates IRS Minimum Essential Coverage

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

10/22/2014 - Delegation of Discretion Disability Insurance Employee Benefits ERISA Plan Administrators

California Updates State Breach Notification Law, Expands Security Procedures to Entities that “Maintain” Personal Information

On September 30, 2014, California took further steps to protect the personal information of its residents by amending several sections of its breach notification and information security laws (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1798.81.5,...more

10/9/2014 - Breach Notification Rule Data Breach Data Protection Electronically Stored Information Personally Identifiable Information

IRS to Amend Cafeteria Plan Regulations to Facilitate Enrollment in Marketplace Coverage

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-55, which expands the cafeteria plan “change in status” rules to allow plans to offer employees an option to revoke their elections...more

9/23/2014 - Affordable Care Act Cafeteria Plans Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance IRS Public Health Insurance Marketplace

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health...more

9/10/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Health Insurance Insurers New Legislation Waiting Periods

IRS Increases 9.5% Affordability Threshold—Or Did It?

On July 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released three Revenue Procedures (2014-46, 2014-37, and 2014-41), which provide guidance to individuals on their obligation to maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC)...more

8/7/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare Individual Mandate IRS Minimum Essential Coverage SEC

Hobby Lobby: The Supreme Court’s View and Its Impact

For the second time in two years the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) has ruled against the Obama Administration with respect to elements of the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). In a 5-4 decision announced today in...more

7/2/2014 - Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Contraceptives Hobby Lobby Religious Exemption Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS

Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the...more

6/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Eligibility Employer Group Health Plans Final Rules Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS U.S. Treasury Waiting Periods

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

5/23/2014 - Bankruptcy Code Collective Bargaining Employer Contributions Employer Liability Issues ERISA Fiduciary Duty Multiemployer Plan Retirement Plan SCOTUS Trust Assets

Reminder: ACA’s Out-of-Pocket Limits Differ from HSA-Qualified HDHPs Starting in 2015

In April, the IRS released the 2015 inflation adjustments for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and HSA-qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs). A month earlier, HHS released details on the “premium adjustment percentage,”...more

5/9/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates HDHP Health Savings Accounts Healthcare HHS IRS Out-of-Pocket Expenses Premiums

ACA’s Deductible Limits for Small Groups Repealed

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. The primary purpose of the law is to provide a one-year delay of a 24% reduction in payment rates for physicians who participate...more

4/9/2014 - Affordable Care Act CMS Deductibles Healthcare Medicare

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2014

Our first article this month addresses the treatment of the attorney-client privilege in employee benefits matters. Pursuant to the so-called "fiduciary exception," communications between an attorney and a plan fiduciary are...more

3/12/2014 - Attorney-Client Privilege Confidential Communications ERISA Fiduciary Duty Legal Advice Privilege

Coverage of Dependents: Final “Pay-or-Play” Regulations Exclude Stepchildren and Others; Extend Prior Transitional Relief

As previously reported, the IRS recently released final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer “shared responsibility” provisions, also known as the “pay-or-play” mandate. Under the mandate, in order to avoid...more

2/24/2014 - Affordable Care Act Dependent Care Exclusions Foster Children IRS Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Stepchildren Transition Relief

They’re Back! Final Regulations On Employer “Pay-or-Play” Mandate Released – IRS Provides Transition Relief To Employers with...

On Tuesday, February 10, 2014, the IRS released final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer “shared responsibility” provisions, also known as the “pay-or-play” mandate. ...more

2/11/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare IRS Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Transition Relief

Recent Guidance on Wellness Programs Clarifies Premium Surcharges for Tobacco Use

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury...more

1/20/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare HHS Premiums U.S. Treasury Wellness Programs

Departments Release New FAQ Guidance on ACA and MHPAEA Implementation Issues

On January 9, 2014, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) published the eighteenth installment of a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding...more

1/13/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS Mental Health Parity Rule MHPAEA U.S. Treasury

Departments Release Guidance on Dental and Vision Plans, EAPs, and "Wraparound" Coverage

On December 20, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the Departments) jointly issued proposed rules (Proposed Regulations) that would amend the regulations regarding excepted...more

1/3/2014 - Affordable Care Act EAP ERISA Healthcare HIPAA PCORI Transitional Reinsurance Program Wraparound Coverage

Final Regulations for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

On November 8, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the "Departments") jointly issued final regulations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the...more

12/3/2013 - DOL Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare HHS Mental Health Parity Rule MHPAEA U.S. Treasury

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter; November 2013

In This Issue: - Labor and Employment and ERISA Class Actions After Wal-Mart and Comcast — Practice Points for Defendants (Part I – Commonality)* - Agencies Release Guidance on HRAs, FSAs, and Employer Payment...more

11/22/2013 - Affordable Care Act Class Action Class Certification Comcast Competition Damages Discrimination Dukes v Wal-Mart ERISA FICA Taxes Flexible Spending Accounts Gender Discrimination Healthcare Healthcare Reform HRA IRS Penalties Rule 23 Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Section 409A Severance Pay Tax Refunds US v Windsor Wal-Mart

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