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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;27 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;Seven 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=001ZGiir1EGqGYekn_jw-RtA_7yZd28ST1Dhyt99OZpQOMQPAtBx-Tg7JPVr8wgxQqQ1XZfnwO_-6H1nk1wk7jWUYjTPsWj6tfjgDfH-HDpYUPA4QmfP-s2FkEepqO7-ih9m2VKg4buMK3ZalBeKLFYgQ6Pvg73A6vxVtJn3C_DRmjmmwH3gRQjmw==&amp;c=a_xK5yzfqU-IcSJrHjbUTw3JP0InRfojkvlD0yo9Nrznn09q2O-KEg==&amp;ch=hSuq-Awn9sOhX99UYqA6uvoWeFGkvxKMoLYIKtLg4MrE4ROYK7IXpA==" 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'>April 13, 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;HHS Releases HIPAA Guidance on <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'>&quot;Man-in-the-Middle&quot; Attacks<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> <div> <p class=MsoNormal style='margin-bottom:3.75pt'><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'>HHS has issued guidance to advise covered entities and business associates about certain risks attendant to using HTTPS inspection products to prevent third-parties from intercepting and altering electronic protected health information (&quot;ePHI&quot;) transmitted over the internet.&nbsp; In particular, HHS's guidance discusses &quot;man-in-the-middle&quot; attacks (&quot;MITM attacks&quot;) that can result from using HTTPS inspection products and advises covered entities and business associates to take certain action steps to avoid such attacks.<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'><br> <strong>Background.</strong>&nbsp; A MITM attack involves a third party intercepting and accessing information contained in a communication between two parties.&nbsp; In addition to accessing the communication, the third party may insert harmful codes or distort the original information.<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'><br> Many covered entities use HTTPS inspection products to monitor the security of confidential, sensitive internet communications.&nbsp; The use of HTTPS inspection products increases security by allowing covered entities to detect malware and unsafe connections.<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;&nbsp; <br> HTTPS inspection products operate by intercepting HTTPS communications, decrypting and reviewing them for attacks, and then re-encrypting the communications.&nbsp; To avoid triggering warnings, the HTTPS inspection product must install trusted certificates on clients' devices.&nbsp; Doing so, however, may result in the covered entity being unable to verify web servers' certificates, and if the full certification chain is not verified, the covered entity could be exposed to MITM attacks.&nbsp;&nbsp; Therefore, HTTPS inspection products may actually serve to make communication more vulnerable to MITM attacks.<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'><br> <strong>Guidance.&nbsp;</strong> To avoid the risk of MITM attacks associated with using HTTPS inspection products, HHS advises covered entities to follow the advice of the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team and confirm that their HTTPS inspection product accurately validates certificate chains and passes any warnings to clients.<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;&nbsp; <br> HHS also recommends that covered entities confirm that the HTTPS inspection product has been installed correctly, as improper installation of the product may decrease security and present new vulnerabilities.<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'><br> Finally, HHS explains that covered entities should weigh the benefits and detriments to using HTTPS inspection products when performing the regular risk analyses required by the HIPAA Security Rule.&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;<br> The HHS guidance is available at: </span></span><a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/april-2017-ocr-cyber-awareness-newsletter.pdf"><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'>https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/april-2017-ocr-cyber-awareness-newsletter.pdf</span><span style='mso-bookmark:_MailOriginal'></span></a><span style='mso-bookmark: _MailOriginal'><span style='color:black'><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> </div> </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. 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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