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The Wagner Law Group Description 

The Wagner Law Group, A Professional Corporation, is a nationally recognized ERISA & employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor & human resources practice. 

 

Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group has 22 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits, estate planning and employment law. Five 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.

 

 

Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group

 

  Integrity | Excellence

  

Massachusetts Office 

Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Florida Office 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

   

San Francisco Office

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 829-4385

315 Montgomery Street

Suite 902

San Francisco, CA 94104

 

www.wagnerlawgroup.com

 

 

April 4, 2013 

 State and Federal Law Alert

 

         

DOL Issues Regulations on MEWA Reporting and Enforcement under PPACA

 

DOL has issued two sets of regulations that implement changes made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") to the reporting and enforcement rules applicable to multiple employer welfare arrangements ("MEWAs").

 

In very general terms, a MEWA is any arrangement that is established or maintained to provide health or welfare benefits to the employees of two or more employers.  However, MEWAs do not include any plan or arrangement that is established or maintained under a collective bargaining agreement or any plan that covers a group of employers under "common control".

 

Reporting Changes.  Most MEWAs must file Form M-1 with DOL annually to demonstrate compliance with certain group health plan requirements under ERISA.  The new regulations implement PPACA's additional reporting requirements, which include information about custodial arrangements, finances, assets and fiduciaries, as well as the identification of certain other persons who are involved in the MEWA's operations and administration.  The regulations eliminate the paper filing option and require that all Forms M-1 be filed electronically, using DOL's on-line filing system.

 

Also, MEWAs must make additional Form M-1 filings with DOL within 30 days after the occurrence of certain events, including the commencement of operations in new states and when the MEWA experiences a "material change" in custodial or financial information that has previously been reported on Form M-1.

 

Because of the new filing requirements, the filing deadline for the 2012 Form M-1 has been extended from March 1, 2013 to May 1, 2013.  Upon request, a further extension may be granted until July 1, 2013.

 

Enforcement Rules.  PPACA provides DOL with the authority to issue cease-and-desist orders against abusive MEWAs, and to seize the assets of financially unstable MEWAs.  The regulations specify the criteria required for DOL to exercise these new powers.

 

DOL may issue cease-and-desist orders, without prior notice or hearing, when it reasonably believes a MEWA has engaged in fraud, created an immediate danger to the public, or may cause significant, imminent and irreparable injury to the public.

 

 

DOL may summarily seize a MEWA's assets if the MEWA appears to be in financial jeopardy.  The regulations provide that, normally, DOL must obtain court authorization before seizing a MEWA's assets.  However, DOL may make a seizure without prior court authorization if it believes that a delay would result in the further loss of plan assets or destruction of plan records.  DOL may also request that a court appoint a receiver or independent fiduciary for the MEWA.   

 

This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.

  

Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we hereby inform you that any advice set forth herein with respect to US federal tax issues is not intended or written by The Wagner Law Group to be used and cannot be used, by you or any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code.

 

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.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.