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src="https://imgssl.constantcontact.com/ui/images1/ic_fbk_36.png" alt="Like us on Facebook" title="Like us on Facebook" align=null></span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></a><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"; color:#43667D'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK3></a><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B2C4D0; border:solid black 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:solid black .75pt;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;border-image:none' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK3"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'>The Wagner Law Group</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#006E6D'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and&nbsp;investment management.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has&nbsp;seven offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's&nbsp;33 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and&nbsp;five paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds.&nbsp;Seven of the attorneys are AV-rated by <i>Martindale-Hubbell</i> and&nbsp;six are Fellows of the <em><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>American College of Employee Benefits Counsel</span></em>, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.&nbsp;&nbsp;Seven of the firm's&nbsp;attorneys have been named to the prestigious <em><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>Super Lawyers</span></em> list for 2017, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#5A879E'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK9"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;color:#245B7C'><br> </span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:24.0pt;color:#245B7C'><img border=0 width=149 id="_x0000_i1030" src="http://files.constantcontact.com/de4f037a001/1fd5f2bd-ccda-4413-af1f-a8ca84c9ae65.jpg" hspace=5 vspace=5 name=ACCOUNT.IMAGE.119><br style='mso-special-character: line-break'> <![if !supportLineBreakNewLine]><br style='mso-special-character: line-break'> <![endif]><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <!-- </img> --> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK4></a><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=1 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B2C4D0; border:solid black 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:solid black .75pt;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;border-image:none' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK4"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'>Contact Info</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:white'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>The Wagner Law Group</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"; color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;Integrity | Excellence</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Boston&nbsp;</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (617) 357-5200&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (617) 357-5250&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>99 Summer Street&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>13th Floor<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Boston, MA 02110<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Washington, D.C.</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (202) 969-2800<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (202) 969-2568<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 810<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Washington, D.C. 20006<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Chicago</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (847) 990-9034<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (847) 557-1312<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>190 South LaSalle Street<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 2100<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Chicago, IL 60603<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Palm Beach Gardens</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (561) 293-3590<br> Fax: (561) 293-3591<br> 7108 Fairway Drive<br> Suite 125<br> Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;<strong><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>&nbsp;</span></strong>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tampa</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (813) 603-2959<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (813) 603-2961<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>101 East Kennedy Boulevard<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 2140<br> Tampa, FL&nbsp; 33602&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>San Francisco</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (415) 625-0002<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (415) 358-8300<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>300 Montgomery Street<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Suite 600<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>San Francisco, CA 94104<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>St. Louis</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (314) 236-0065<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (314) 236-5743<br> 25 W. Moody Avenue<br> St. Louis, MO&nbsp; 63119&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Lincoln, MA</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Tel: (617) 532-8080<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Fax: (617) 532-9090<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>55 Old Bedford Road<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>Lincoln, MA 01773<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#8595A3'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span><a href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001SY2yv-svBcdHY2K6RZOJohQFKKMxkL-S9gMUoNN12VkLY1Bd8R0MEicM3VDP9qcXPO2pLxt4odpom1M_6QvXFdQd4HKe_EkHdrO1OcK9Jqg1HvA1f3XkLVq0UDFAu-E6EdC5C4vYvuRr7WWLu58CrpkDcIoIZhvos1acil_1UXThnelVgarXkk1ikNhOxkEReEH_9ons8i8-cauplpvw90GWI5ZwRYONKUU_fQZMWZKpt4jWKDDOhrlY36SpvUBGKJ6bDrhnWIzN7acqx2Lq_cfGmRXPnvrmdZGEvBBM9efIeIEZ653yEKYZbZJ5Qje4LGyps6CRPxG50vlik5-HMxHMUzbDBuZNUVrgJoyG_8A=&amp;c=jFPPazlZHAVhPBOfLHBog8ylr3ipydOtTM65ypzpJbaMvrlDq9fs8g==&amp;ch=ibo5CagAglZnEDiW-HHpetWz73Zz1HZ6RcUmX80J94IFNZSrBVS_zA==" target="_blank" track=on shape=rect linktype=link alt="http://wagnerlawgroup.com/?utm_source=Health+and+Welfare+Law+Alert+7%2F26%2F18&amp;utm_campaign=2%2F21%2F17+Newsletter&amp;utm_medium=email"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>www.wagnerlawgroup.com</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></a><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;color:#8595A3'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:2;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> <td width=440 valign=top style='width:330.0pt;background:white; padding:3.75pt 5.25pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;background:#B6BFC9; mso-yfti-tbllook:1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes;height:.75pt'> <td style='padding:0in 0in 0in 0in;height:.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;display:table' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK6"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <div> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><b><span style='font-size:18.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;Anti-Assignment Provision Does Not Prevent the Grant of Power of Attorney&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></b></span></p> </div> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal align=center style='text-align:center; margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 3.75pt;'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:18.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:18.0pt; color:#006E6D'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal align=right style='margin-bottom:3.75pt; text-align:right'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:11.0pt;color:#006E6D'>July 27, 2018</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:11.0pt; color:#006E6D'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='display:none;mso-hide:all'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt;display:table' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK7"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow: yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span size=3 face=Tinos><span lang=EN style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Tinos","serif"; color:black;mso-ansi-language:EN'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span lang=EN style='color:black; mso-ansi-language:EN'>Although the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in <em>American Orthopedic &amp; Sports Medicine vs. Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield</em>, that a group health plan's anti-assignment provision was valid, this does not prevent a health care service provider from representing a plan participant under a power of attorney agreement.&nbsp;</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span lang=EN style='font-size: 10.0pt;font-family:"Tinos","serif";color:black;mso-ansi-language: EN'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </div> </span> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:12.0pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span lang=EN style='color:black; mso-ansi-language:EN'><br> <u>Facts</u>. A group health plan participant underwent a surgical procedure at an out-of-network medical service provider. When the plan refused to pay the amount charged by the provider, the provider sued the plan and its insurer, saying that the participant had signed an &quot;Assignment of Benefits &amp; Ltd. Power of Attorney&quot; which assigned to the provider the participant's right to pursue claims under the plan for the surgery and, in the alternative, granted to the provider a limited power of attorney to pursue the claim on his behalf through arbitration or lawsuit.<br> <br> Plan provisions included an anti-assignment clause that stated, &quot;[t]he right of a Member to receive benefit payments under this Program is personal to the Member and is not assignable in whole or in part to any person, Hospital, or other entity.&quot;<br> <br> <u>Note</u>. To prevent health care providers from bringing lawsuits against group health plans, many plan sponsors include anti-assignment provisions in their plan documents or insurance contracts. Such provisions either completely prohibit, or substantially limit, participants' ability to assign their rights under the plan. Thus, even when a plan participant knowingly (or unknowingly) assigns all rights to a health care provider, that assignment will be void if the plan expressly prohibits such an assignment. <br> <br> A power of attorney gives a third party the authority to act for another person (in this case the participant) in specified legal or financial matters<br> <br> <u>Decision</u>. Noting that other jurisdictions have upheld anti-assignment clauses, the Third Circuit agreed that the plan's anti-assignment clause was valid. However, it noted that assignments and powers of attorney differ in important aspects An assignment transfers ownership of a claim to the provider, giving it standing to assert those rights and to sue on its own behalf. A power of attorney, on the other hand, does not transfer an ownership interest in the claim.<br> <br> Therefore, although the anti-assignment clause is enforceable, it does not, by itself, prevent the participant from granting a power of attorney. To the contrary, because the participant retains ownership of his claim, he may give the provider the authority to assert the claim in court on his behalf.</span><span style='color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> </table> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">&nbsp;</p> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:0in 0in 0in 0in' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK8"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td width="100%" style='width:100.0%;background:#2D3E46;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width="100%" style='width:100.0%;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook: 1184;mso-padding-alt:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td style='padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt'><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"; color:#4E6A78'>This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.&nbsp; This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. 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