Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News
March 2012

 
Functions for Health Care Exchanges for 2014
The roles and responsibilities of the exchanges go far beyond facilitating the interactions between insurance carriers and insureds using a common platform for comparison of qualified health plans. They include consumer, eligibility, and enrollment assistance and other responsibilities. For a detailed list of the exchanges' duties, click here.
MLR Rebates Redux
Medical Loss Ratio rebates will create issues for the fiduciaries of group health plans subject to ERISA. The first rebates will be paid by August 2012 for the 2011 calendar year. Will the the rebate a "plan asset?" If so, does it have to be held in trust and how can it be used? What portion must be given to participants and what are the permissible distribution methods? Plan sponsors/employers should decide how to handle any rebate before it is received to ensure compliance. More...
1st HIPAA Enforcement Action
against a Business Associate
A business associate left a password protected, but unencrypted laptop in the back seat of a rental car, from which it was stolen. The laptop contained names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, inpatient admissions, and information about patients' conditions. HITECH provides for damages in the amount of up to $100 per violation, limited to $25,000/year/provision of HITECH that is violated. Continuing violations of multiple provisions could represent hundreds of thousands of dollars in statutory damages. Business associates may want to review whether they are complying with the statutory privacy and security requirements of the HITECH Act. Read more...
Keeping ERISA Documents Solely in Electronic Form
ERISA requires Plan Sponsors/employers and Plan Administrators to maintain numerous records and HIPAA imposes record keeping rules for health plans. We also recommend that you keep records of plan administration in the event of litigation, which may occur many years after the fact. Fortunately, you are permitted to retain most records electronically rather in paper form. Various laws (E-SIGN) and government agencies (IRS and DOL) govern electronic recordkeeping.
Here are some general guidelines for going paperless. Electronic records must be kept in reasonable order in a safe and accessible place. They must be easily examined and convertible into legible copies. You must have good indexing and retrieval capabilities. You must have reasonable controls to ensure the integrity, accuracy, and authenticity of the records. Destruction of paper records is generally permitted except where an electronic duplicate would not be acceptable under the terms of the Plan or applicable federal or state law. (Source)
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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.

 

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