Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News
November 2016

Criminal Conviction of Plan Trustee, Outside Legal Counsel Shows Risks of Retaliating Against Whistleblowers for Reporting ERISA Violation

A U.S. District Court has determined, in Perez v. Scott Brain, that an employee benefit trust fund's trustee and legal counsel engaged in illegal activity when they retaliated against a fund employee who communicated with the Department of Labor during its investigation of the fund's administration. (Solutions Law Press)

Medicare: Insolvency Projections
"Almost from its inception, the [Hospital Insurance (HI)] Trust Fund has faced a projected shortfall. The insolvency date has been postponed a number of times, primarily due to legislative changes that have had the effect of restraining growth in program spending. The 2016 Medicare trustees' report projects that, under intermediate assumptions, the HI Trust Fund will become insolvent in 2028, two years earlier than estimated in the prior year's report." [Report No. RS20946, dated Oct. 5, 2016.] Congressional Research

The Rights and Duties of Your HSA Trustee

"Your HSA trust agreement cannot limit your reimbursements to eligible expenses... Your trustee must provide at least one way for you to make distributions (withdrawals) for non-eligible expenses.... Your trustee can place certain restrictions on distributions.... Your HSA trustee does not track your deposits to ensure that you don't exceed your maximum annual contribution.... Your trustee does not have to accept a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer from another HSA or an Archer MSA... Your trustee must surrender balances if you want to move funds from that trustee via a rollover or trustee-to-trustee transfer." (Xerox HR Insights)

Just Around the Corner:
HIPAA Audits for Business Associates

"For business associates, desk audits will target breach notification and the security rule's risk analysis and risk management requirements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) intends for the desk audits to begin any time now and to conclude by the end of the year. Next year, OCR plans to conduct full audits of all the HIPAA requirements of a selected group of both business associates and covered entities." (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)

Court Says Employer Can Require Health Risk Assessments for Medical Coverage

A U.S. District Court has determined, in EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., that an employer's wellness program, which requires employees who had enrolled in its group health plan to undergo health risk assessments or pay full premium costs, was voluntary and did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Nevertheless, the court indicated that, going forward, the EEOC's recently-issued regulations, which limit the incentive that employers can provide for a wellness program, is enforceable. (Wagner Law Group)
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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.


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