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style='width:6.25in;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook:1184'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:.75pt .75pt .75pt .75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></td> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span> </tr> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:1'> <td valign=top style='background:#41535E;padding:.75pt .75pt .75pt .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' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK1"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td width="100%" colspan=2 valign=top style='width:100.0%;background: white;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:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td valign=top style='padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'><img width=657 height=130 id="_x0000_i1026" src="http://files.constantcontact.com/de4f037a001/5f3ff40c-b29a-4dad-87e9-8885a915bf82.jpg" vspace=5 alt="Wagner Header" border=0 name=ACCOUNT.IMAGE.15><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=160 valign=top style='width:120.0pt;background:white; padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 5.25pt'> <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;border-image:none;display:table' id="content_LETTER.BLOCK2"> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes;mso-yfti-lastrow:yes'> <td width="100%" valign=top style='width:100.0%;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'> <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'> <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'> <td style='border:none;padding:3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt 3.75pt'> <p align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK2></a><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> </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> <p align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;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&nbsp;and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor&nbsp;and human resources,&nbsp;investment management and real estate.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: center'><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 align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;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 has&nbsp;28 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits,</span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#5A879E'> </span></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>estate planning and employment law.&nbsp;Six of our attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell as having very high to preeminent legal abilities and ethical standards. The firm is among the largest ERISA boutiques in the country. Our practice is national in scope, with clients in more than 40 states and several foreign countries.</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> <p align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black'>&nbsp;</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> </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-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> <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'>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> <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> <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'>&nbsp; Fax: (202) 969-2568<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'>800 Connecticut Ave., N.W.<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 810<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'>Washington, D.C. 20006<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'><br> <strong><span style='font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"'>Palm Beach Gardens</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'><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'><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'>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'><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'>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> 100 South 4th Street, Suite 550<br> St. Louis, MO&nbsp; 63102&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <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=001T6Ltk9Phft5g5J-TyQt7Noka0IuqWTMo5hTwamL86YwbBrPYQJg5BM5yJv71I2iAQUUaRRn-i6WKFmX9O6xzcAnVHoa5imjJLv2t8vebloc9L3_leU8qZLsQ68pm5wZ8cgjq7itBnoLJIlHqY6Q9vWF-x1VzV1WzCti0x2bekEf0Sy85MKx2qQ==&amp;c=mUh0hZQdrvWVaokjADmF8UwvrhjyfUb7CdYTc_AQ3m7W6qcE-0_ifg==&amp;ch=E3OBiGhuPntp2ytx7hNhJiBw9XyE19gNDbDWcQ-HbkAGqMobozzU2g==" target="_blank" track=on shape=rect linktype=link alt="http://wagnerlawgroup.com/"><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' 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 align=right style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: right'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:11.0pt;color:black'>March 30, 2017<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p align=right style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: right'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:11.0pt;color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <p align=center style='margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: center'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='font-size:18.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;Health and Welfare Law Alert</span></strong></span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='font-size:18.0pt;color:#245B7C'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </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> <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:14.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Federal Court Says Insurer's Practice <o:p></o:p></span></b></span></p> </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:14.0pt;color:#006E6D'>&nbsp;&nbsp; of Cross-Plan Offsetting is Illegal <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'><b><span style='font-size:14.0pt;color:#006E6D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></b></span></p> </div> <span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></div> </div> </div> </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'><a name=LETTER.BLOCK7></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=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.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> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota recently determined, in <em>Peterson v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc.</em>, that a health insurer's practice of &quot;cross-plan offsetting&quot; was illegal because the terms governing the impacted health plans did not authorize the practice. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;</span></strong><span style='color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='color:black'>Background.</span></strong><span style='color:black'> Cross-plan offsetting is a practice employed by health insurers and TPAs to recoup alleged overpayments made to service providers for patients from one health plan by reducing or eliminating payments for patients from different plans also serviced by the insurer or TPA. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='color:black'>Facts. </span></strong><span style='color:black'>The plaintiffs in <em>Peterson, a class action lawsuit,</em> were health care providers that the defendant-insurer/TPA alleged had been overpaid for services provided to certain patients covered under a self-insured health plan that was administered by the defendant. To recoup these overpayments, the defendant reduced or eliminated future payments it made to the plaintiffs for services they provided to patients covered under different self-insured group health plans also administered by the defendant.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>In response, the plaintiffs sued, alleging that the defendant had wrongfully failed to pay them for providing covered health services to patients enrolled in health plans administered by the defendant.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='color:black'>District Court.</span></strong><span style='color:black'> In hearing the matter, the district court reviewed the terms of the health plans at issue to determine whether they authorized the defendant's practice of cross-plan offsetting. The district court determined that the health plans' terms provided no such authorization for the defendant's practice. The district court commented that the defendant's interpretation of the plans to allow cross-plan offsetting was &quot;inherently unreasonable&quot; and created &quot;gross conflicts of interest.&quot; <o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>Moreover, the district court ruled that the defendant had violated its fiduciary duty as the plans' administrator by failing to obtain the plan sponsors' consent to reduce or eliminate payments from the health plans to offset the overpayments made from different health plans. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><strong><span style='color:black'>Takeaway from </span></strong><em><b><span style='color:black'>Peterson</span></b></em><strong><span style='color:black'>.</span></strong><span style='color:black'> The district court's ruling in <em>Peterson</em> only relates to whether the terms of the health plans at issue authorized cross-plan offsetting and not whether the practice was a violation of ERISA fiduciary duties. Nonetheless, the district court noted its skepticism about whether ERISA permits cross-plan offsetting, especially in the context of an insurer that both insures certain plans and acts as TPA for other self-insured health plans.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </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. 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