Health and Welfare Plans

News & Analysis as of

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List: Health & Welfare

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

IRS Releases Benefits and Contribution Limits for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued its annual update regarding dollar limitations on contributions and benefits applicable to tax-qualified retirement and welfare plans for 2017. Please see full...more

November and December 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

IRS Announces Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2017. Although some of the dollar limits currently...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – September 2016 #2

Hardly Water Under the Bridge: NLRB, SEC, OSHA Mount Offensive Against Confidentiality Agreements - A recent New York Times story shed light on complaints by an employee of Bridgewater Associates, a $154 billion hedge...more

Score on Wellness Lawsuits—Wellness Plans 3, EEOC 0?

On September 19, 2017, in the ongoing lawsuit the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought against Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Orion) regarding its wellness program, a Wisconsin federal judge found that...more

Employers Who Self Administer Life Insurance Plans Had Better Do So Correctly

Many employers self-administer welfare benefit plans such as life insurance or disability insurance plans. This self administration requires the employer to determine eligibility for coverage, remit proper premiums and notify...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – September 2016

New Guidance Affects Wellness Program Design - Over the last several months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have provided additional guidance regarding the...more

Hospital and Fixed Indemnity Policies; Excepted Benefits; Supplemental Coverage under Recently Proposed Treasury Regulations; and...

We reported in a recent post on proposed regulations dealing with, among other things, the treatment of hospital indemnity or other fixed indemnity insurance products in the group market. This post takes a closer look at the...more

Case Note: Public-Private Partnership and ERISA’s Governmental Plan Exception

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit used the 6 factor test in Revenue Ruling 57-128 to determine that a group of retirees could not bring their welfare benefit plan claims under ERISA. ...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Would Significantly Increase Reporting Obligations for Health and Welfare Plan Sponsors

Summary - On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a proposal to implement significant changes to the forms and regulations that govern annual employee benefit plan...more

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

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