Health and Welfare Plans

News & Analysis as of

Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Certain ERISA Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published on July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusting the civil monetary penalties that it can enforce. These adjustments are the result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Penalty Amounts Get Adjustment (Upward, of Course)

The Department of Labor (DOL), along with several other federal agencies, recently released adjusted penalty amounts for various violations. The amounts had not been adjusted since 2003, so there was some catching up to do,...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – June 2016

Final Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Guidance Issued - The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Departments”) recently issued final changes to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage...more

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Arrangements for Governmental and Tax-Exempt Entities

The Treasury Department last week issued long-awaited proposed regulations under Section 457(f) of the Internal Revenue Code regarding nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements sponsored by governmental and tax-exempt...more

Court Orders Cigna to Pay Out-of-Network Surgical Claims

On June 1, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered Cigna to pay nearly $13.7 million to Humble Surgical Hospital, LLC (“Humble”). Of the nearly $13.7 million, almost $11.4 million...more

Ninth Circuit Rules that Stock Rights Plan is Not Subject to ERISA

In a case of first impression in the Ninth Circuit, the Court held that the Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Stock Rights Plan (“SRP”) was not subject to ERISA because its primary purpose was not to provide deferred compensation or...more

Five Ways to Survive a Department of Labor (“DOL”) Health and Welfare Plan Investigation

DOL health and welfare plan investigations are on the rise. There are best practices for plans chosen for investigation: 1. Get Employee Benefits Counsel Involved Early. The DOL investigation process generally...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – April 2016

Private Equity Funds Found Liable for Portfolio Company’s ERISA Withdrawal Liability - The most recent ruling in the ongoing Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund case...more

Important Information for 2015 Form 5500 Reporting: Pension Benefit Plans and Funded Welfare Benefit Plans

As you may know, there have been several new items added to the 2015 Form 5500 series. Specifically, these are: - ..Preparer Information at the bottom of page 1 of Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF ..Schedule H, Lines...more

April and May 2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

Anti-Assignment Provision Bars Surgery Center’s $3.3 Million ERISA Benefits Claims

A federal district court in California held that the ILWU-PMA Welfare Benefit Plan’s anti-assignment provision barred Brand Tarzana Surgical Institute’s claim for benefits and thus dismissed the Institute’s claim for...more

Supreme Court Concludes That ERISA Preempts State Reporting Requirements

In a closely observed federalism battle over the scope of ERISA preemption, the Supreme Court came down on the side of Federal power. Specifically, in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, the Court, in a 6-2 ruling,...more

ERISA Preemption Made Easy? Supreme Court Sends Vermont All-Payer Database Back to the Drawing Board

On the first day of decisions since the unexpected passing of Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court of the United States ventured into the thorny area of preemption under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and...more

BIG NEWS: ERISA Preempts Hodgepodge of State Insurance Reporting Regulations

You know there has been a court trend toward narrowing ERISA preemption. But…that trend was brushed back today by the U.S. Supreme Court. Here’s today’s case: Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Com., __ U.S. __ (March 1,...more

February and March 2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision Affect Your Employee Benefit Plans?

The short answer: No plan amendments are required, but certain plan amendments and operational changes are permitted, and certain operational changes may be required....more

Health and Welfare Plans: Big Compliance Burdens, Big Penalty Exposures

Health and welfare have been around for a long time, and they are ubiquitous. Employees have come to expect medical, dental, life, and other insurance as part of their benefits packages. Employers offer coverage in order to...more

The Supreme Court Narrowly Defines an ERISA Plan’s Right to Subrogation in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of Nat. Elevator...

Most ERISA group health plans have subrogation terms – that is, terms allowing the plan to recover benefits paid to injured participants who later recover a tort settlement for their injuries. These subrogation claims are...more

The Health and Welfare “Wrap” Document: What It Is and Why You Want One

When it comes to telling their employees about certain benefits, many employers have for decades (since 1974 to be exact) flouted a particular provision of the law with impunity. The law to which we refer is the Employee...more

Group Health Plan Action Items and Reminders for the New Year

While plan sponsors of group health plans breathed a little easier this year-end, there are still important action items and reminders to consider as we look to 2016....more

2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, we focus on the recent wave of guidance and case law related to the Affordable Care Act. We also discuss IRS Notice 2015-86, which provides guidance on the application of...more

IRS Provides Additional Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages under Benefit Plans

In IRS Notice 2015-86, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided guidance to sponsors and administrators of employee benefit plans regarding the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to...more

Equitable in Name Only?: Tracing a Long and Tortured Path

Knowingly spending money that isn’t yours sounds like a no-no, but depending on how the Supreme Court rules in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan (No. 14-723), certain ERISA...more

Potential Year-End Amendment Required for Cafeteria Plans

What you need to know: The IRS, in response to this summer’s US Supreme Court marriage-equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, issued guidance last week concerning the impact of Obergefell on qualified retirement plans...more

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