The DOL’s New Cybersecurity Guidance

The Effect of DOL’s New Cybersecurity Guidance on Retirement and Health/Welfare Plans The Department of Labor (or DOL) released new guidance regarding cybersecurity in April 2021. This covered three important factors: hiring service providers, providing online security tips, and new cybersecurity best practices. These were separated into three documents. They included checklists for plan sponsors [...]

By |2021-09-09T13:57:27-04:00September 9th, 2021|2021 News, News, Uncategorized|

Phone Call Recordings may be Requested by Claimants if They’re Deemed Relevant to a Benefits Claim

On June 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an information letter stating that ERISA claims procedures require participants to be given any telephone conversation audio recordings which are deemed relevant to their claim for benefits. This statement followed the denial of a request from a participant to be given an audio recording [...]

By |2021-07-16T14:31:22-04:00July 16th, 2021|2021 News, News, Uncategorized|

Blue Cross Blue Shield Class Action Settlement Raises Fiduciary Duty Questions

In October of 2020, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association and member plans reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit brought by subscribers alleging antitrust violations. While the companies denied the allegations, they agreed to the settlement to avoid further litigation costs and risks. The Court's settlement terms will be reviewed on October [...]

By |2021-05-14T06:27:47-04:00May 14th, 2021|2021 News, News, Uncategorized|

New Disclosure Requirements Included in Stimulus Bill

While the most widely discussed elements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) relate to monetary relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the act also includes new disclosure requirements for brokers and consultants providing services to ERISA health plans. Additionally, it effectively lays responsibility for policing compliance in the laps of plan [...]

By |2021-01-14T10:15:20-05:00January 14th, 2021|2021 News, News, Uncategorized|

Are Your EAP and Wellness Program Subject to ERISA and COBRA?

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employee welfare benefit plans are subject to certain fiduciary rules, claims procedures and plan document requirements (including providing participants with a Summary Plan Description (SPD) and possibly also filing a Form 5500 annual return). The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) generally requires [...]

By |2021-01-14T10:15:46-05:00October 6th, 2020|2020 News, News, Uncategorized|

COVID-19 Relief May Require Prompt Employer Action

Over the past several months, there has been a spate of federal legislation and corresponding guidance related to COVID-19 that requires group health plan changes and allows voluntary changes aimed at removing barriers to care and minimizing the impact of the pandemic on employees’ pocketbooks. Mandatory changes include first-dollar coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and [...]

By |2020-08-19T15:36:44-04:00August 19th, 2020|2020 News, News, Uncategorized|
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