Health and Welfare Plans

A cost-effective, comprehensive mix of health and welfare plans is a key ingredient in successfully achieving an optimal work force. However, today’s employers face increasing challenges in designing and maintaining competitive benefit packages, particularly as they attempt to control the costs associated with these plans. These challenges include implementation of the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which has caused many employers to rethink not only their healthcare benefits, but also the composition and classification of their workforce. In addition, plan sponsors must communicate the plan effectively to employees in order for them be aware of and appreciate this element of their compensation package.

Our employee benefits and executive compensation lawyers are experienced in all aspects of health and welfare benefit plan design and compliance issues, including the following:

  • Flexible spending account plans
  • Cafeteria plans
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and healthcare cost containment programs
  • Design and funding of retiree health plans
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) accounting procedures for post-retirement welfare benefits

We assist employers with drafting and negotiating administrative services agreements between plan sponsors and third-party administrators and business associate agreements, as well as day-to-day issues involving self-insured medical plans. We provide compliance counsel with regard to PPACA and issues arising under related laws and rules, including the following:

  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),including non-discrimination and privacy
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Regulations covering subrogation, reimbursement, reporting and disclosure issues

Representative Experience

  • Drafting comprehensive welfare plan documents and summary plan descriptions describing complex benefit arrangements
  • Representation of numerous franchisors and associations regarding multiple-employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) issues related to provision of group health benefits to franchisees and members
  • Counseling on HIPAA privacy and security matters, including the development of polices and procedures and workforce training
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