We have a large and proactive group of lawyers devoted to helping organizations address health and welfare plan design and operational issues. With respect to health care reform, our large number of health care organization clients and extensive Health Law practice (which focuses on the provider implications of health care reform), enables us to provide depth and insight into this law that other law firms can’t match.
We have a broad range of experience working with clients to ensure that health and welfare benefit plans comply with federal laws such as ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, PPACA, HIPAA, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the Medicare Secondary Payer rules, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Our lawyers develop strategies to ensure that our clients’ health and welfare benefit plans comply with state laws and address the challenges presented when those laws do not dovetail with federal laws. For instance, we advise clients on health and welfare benefit plans that offer coverage for domestic partners. This includes both self-insured benefits governed by ERISA and insured benefits governed by state insurance laws, which, in certain states, require benefit coverage for registered domestic partners.
Our team works with clients to ensure that health and welfare benefit plans are designed to meet the employer’s business objectives and comply with all applicable federal and state laws. This includes:
- Reviewing plan documents for general legal compliance.
- Assessing and advising on employer responsibilities under federal laws and/or state laws, including ERISA fiduciary responsibilities.
- Updating benefit plans to comply with legal requirements and to reflect plan design changes.
- Evaluating plan design alternatives and implementing benefit plan restructuring.
- Developing enrollment and disclosure documents, such as the notice of privacy practices, as well as plan procedures, such as qualified medical child support order procedures.
- Drafting and/or reviewing summary plan descriptions and other employee communications that describe the employer’s health and welfare benefit plans and explain important issues related to federal and state laws (such as income tax requirements).
- Negotiating third-party administration agreements, insurance contracts and legally required agreements (such as HIPAA business associate agreements).
- Providing guidance with respect to federal filing and reporting requirements that apply to certain types of health and welfare benefit plans (such as the employer mandate reporting for full-time employees, self-insured health plan reporting, the W-2 reporting requirement with respect to employer-sponsored health coverage and Form 1094-C/1095-C reporting obligations with respect to employer-provided health insurance offers and coverage).