Our services include:
We help to design and to document all types of benefit plans and to ensure their compliance with the many state and federal requirements. We also help in business transactions (where benefit issues may cause major issues) and in litigating various benefit claims (including claims for breaches of fiduciary duties). We can also help evaluate multi-employer pension plan “withdrawal liability” and structure operations to avoid or minimize its impact.
Health and Fringe Benefits
* Insured and Self-Funded health plans and plans offering supplemental benefits. We have designed the plans, documented them, negotiated agreements with service providers, health providers, PPOs, third party administrators, insurers, stop loss insurers, and others.
* Cafeteria plans, including flexible spending accounts and dependent care accounts.
* Disability. One of our attorneys developed a way in which employees -- on an individual basis -- could receive disability benefits tax-free.
* Establish VEBAs and other trusts. We have obtained tax-approval of their operations.
* HIPAA privacy and security requirements.
* COBRA and FMLA and the new COBRA subsidy.
* Establish and operate health provider groups.
Help During Economic Downturns.
In this difficult economic time, we work with our clients to develop creative ways of lowering costs while continuing to provide the benefits that their employees want.
One potential way of saving money is for an employer to make sure that it is not paying expenses which should not be its responsibility. If somebody else injures an employee, shouldn’t they (or their carrier) be responsible? If several insurers are responsible for an expense, why should the employer pay for all of it?
Although the law allows you to limit your obligations in this area, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the effectiveness of these provisions often will depend on the exact words used and whether the provision would have been effective in the medieval English Courts of Equity. We have litigated these issues throughout the country and have developed the “best practices” language.
Health Care Reform.
Although no one knows what will be adopted by Congress, we do know that change is a constant. Even if there is no massive overhaul, employers will have to come with new ideas: “consumer driven health care,” Health Savings Accounts, reducing employer involvement, etc. We can help employers evaluate the alternatives, balance the savings with their employees’ desires, and ensure compliance.