In addition to a variety of other benefits, one of the most valuable benefits employers voluntarily provide to employees includes pension and health plans.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law which was enacted to protect pension and health plan participants and their beneficiaries.
Hitesman & Wold works extensively with ERISA issues surrounding employee benefit plans created and maintained by private sector employers.
We understand the various amendments to ERISA which have expanded the protections available to group health benefit plan participants and beneficiaries. Two important amendments that impact employers and employees are the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Our attorneys regularly counsel clients regarding the ERISA requirements for group health plans, including:
- ERISA compliance including Form 5500 preparation
- Special requirements for group health plans
- Other federal laws impacting benefit plans
- Legislative analysis
- Fringe benefits subject to ERISA
- Plans exempt from ERISA
- Plan design
- Amending and terminating benefit plans
- Mergers and acquisitions for health plans
- Insured and self-funded arrangements
- ERISA’s trust and exclusive benefit requirements
- ERISA bonding requirement
- Multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)
- Reporting and disclosure requirements
- Fiduciary duties under ERISA
- Self-audits for ERISA welfare plans
- Claims procedures
- DOL audits and investigations under ERISA