COBRA and Second Qualifying Events – When Does the Clock Start?

“If the initial qualifying event that triggers an individual’s COBRA rights is terminating employment or reducing hours of employment, subsequent qualifying events may result in an extension of the maximum COBRA coverage period for certain qualified beneficiaries…. Note that a covered employee is not a qualified beneficiary with respect to any 36-month qualifying event. Therefore, […]

By |2017-06-12T07:34:04+00:00June 14th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Could Your Incentive Plan Be Subject to ERISA?

“Many incentive or bonus plans make payments or deliver stock within 2-1/2 months after the end of the year the participant became vested in order comply with the short-term deferral exception of Code Section 409A. However, some incentive plans provide for accumulations, multi-year periods, and mandatory deferrals. These plans may unwittingly become subject to ERISA’s […]

By |2017-06-12T07:32:48+00:00June 7th, 2017|2017 News, News|

When Close Is Not Close Enough: A Shift Towards Strict Compliance for ERISA Claim Procedures

“A string of cases in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is putting ERISA claims administrators on notice that falling short of strict compliance with the DOL’s claims and appeal regulations may cost administrators a deferential standard of review…. Under the DOL’s final regulations governing disability benefit claims, if a plan fails to strictly comply […]

By |2017-06-12T07:21:28+00:00May 21st, 2017|2017 News, News|

A Few Considerations During Form 5500 Season

“Both the IRS and DOL comment that improperly completed Form 5500s will increase the probability that they may take a closer look at plan matters. This article includes a short list of considerations and questions aimed at helping plan sponsor employers avoid government investigation otherwise prompted by a ‘wrong’ answer on the Form 5500.” [[…]

By |2017-06-12T07:23:19+00:00May 14th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Employer Liable for Failing to Provide Life Insurance Conversion Information to Disabled Employee

“Notwithstanding that the right to convert to an individual insurance policy had long since expired, the court crafted a remedy under ERISA that imposed a surcharge on the employer equal to the $750,000 in life insurance that the physician employee would have elected to convert to an individual policy but for the plan administrator’s breach […]

By |2017-06-12T07:24:36+00:00May 7th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Invisible High-Risk Pools: How Congress Can Lower Premiums And Deal With Pre-Existing Conditions

“Maine faced similar challenges in 2011 as it sought to unwind failed experiments that pushed its market into a long-term death spiral. But by creating an invisible high-risk pool and relaxing its premium rating bands, Maine policymakers were able to cut premiums in half while still guaranteeing those with pre-existing conditions access to plans…. Maine’s […]

By |2017-06-08T13:16:20+00:00April 26th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Why COBRA Might Be Making a Comeback

“We’re facing a landscape where the complexity of COBRA remains a part of every employer’s benefits program while the ACA gets a makeover from the Republican White House…. Most likely, it just means that the majority of employers will continue to outsource COBRA administration. It also could mean eligible employees go back to just having […]

By |2017-06-08T13:17:39+00:00April 20th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Massive Medicare Fraud by UnitedHealth Uncovered

“The Justice Department has joined a California whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses insurance giant UnitedHealth Group of fraud in its popular Medicare Advantage health plans …. The whistleblower has accused the insurer of ‘gaming’ the Medicare Advantage payment system by ‘making patients look sicker than they are’ said his attorney … The attorney said the combined […]

By |2017-06-08T13:21:49+00:00April 2nd, 2017|2017 News, News|