Health and Welfare Plans
Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice has extensive experience advising clients on the design and administration of health, welfare, severance and fringe benefit plans. We assist our clients in navigating the increasingly complex requirements of applicable law, including the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, COBRA, USERRA, the Mental Health Parity Act, HIPAA and GINA. Our services include review and drafting of plan documents, summary plan descriptions and participant communications; review and negotiation of provider agreements; advice on fiduciary issues; assistance with retiree medical compliance and funding; and counsel on benefit claims, with a view toward plan drafting and design intended to limit litigation risk. We have successfully represented clients in DOL audits over a broad range of health and welfare issues, and advised clients on successfully eliminating retiree medical arrangements and/or transferring retirees to the exchanges. Finally, we provide guidance on developing trends, including wellness programs and the use of a defined contribution approach to providing medical benefits.
We also advise clients on all aspects of the Affordable Care Act, and in particular, have explored with multiple clients the possibility of moving their retirees and other populations to the public and private exchanges. We have advised clients on the establishment of HRAs to fund the health coverage, the litigation risk related to the elimination of group coverage and the action items to be effectuated to accomplish the transfer. We also have assisted with the development of the communication package for the transfer.