Dawn E. Sellstrom

dawn.sellstrom dbr.com
Phone: (312) 569-1324 (312) 569-1324
Fax: (312) 569-3324


Dawn E. Sellstrom practices in all areas of employee benefits law with a focus on health and welfare benefits, including health care reform. Dawn advises clients on health and welfare benefits of all types and compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and related federal and state laws and regulations.

Dawn works closely with clients to analyze the Affordable Care Act (ACA), develop strategy, and design medical plans and administration to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate and market reforms. She advises employers on and designs consumer driven health arrangements, including high deductible health plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and wellness programs. Dawn advises employers on plan administration and design governance structures, and has experience setting up and operating plan administration fiduciary committees and training plan fiduciaries. Dawn has designed comprehensive compliance reviews for health and welfare benefit plans, trained benefit plan fiduciaries, and represented plans in matters before the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.

Dawn also advises clients regarding qualified retirement plan design, administration, technical compliance and fiduciary issues, and on deferred compensation. Dawn has served as counsel to a multiemployer pension fund and a health and welfare fund.


Dawn’s experience encompasses a broad range of employee benefits matters. Some of her experience includes counseling on:

  • Plan documentation, summary plan descriptions and other disclosures and notice requirements.
  • Governance structures related to plan design and administration responsibility.
  • Establishing health and welfare benefits administration committees, including fiduciary compliance plans.
  • Short- and long-term disability, and life insurance benefits.
  • Contracting with third party administrators and vendors.
  • Wellness program compliance with HIPAA nondiscrimination rules, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts.
  • Integrating health reimbursement arrangements with medical benefits.
  • Health savings account requirements.
  • Retiree medical plan design.
  • HIPAA excepted benefits application to employee assistance programs, on-site medical clinics, retiree medical plans, and other supplemental benefits.
  • Health plan design compliance with Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
  • Claims procedures and benefit appeals documentation.
  • Taxation of domestic partner and civil union partner coverage.
  • Non-discrimination requirements under the Code, HIPAA, ACA and OFCCP rules.
  • Subrogation and reimbursement.
  • Health plan continuation coverage.
  • Medicare Secondary Payer Rules.
  • Medicare Part D.
  • HIPAA privacy and security compliance for group health plans.
  • 401(k) plan correction programs.
  • 401(k) plan safe harbor design.


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 1988