Employee Benefit Dispute/Claims and Welfare Benefit Plans
Wagner's welfare benefits lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience regarding welfare benefits plans, as well as employee benefit disputes and employee benefits claims. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, is a federal law that sets the minimum standards for retirement and welfare benefit plans sponsored by private employers. ERISA requires that employers who establish such plans must meet certain minimum standards. Among other things, ERISA law requires individuals who manage plans and other fiduciaries to meet certain standards of conduct.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, amended ERISA law to make health care coverage more portable and secure for employees. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, or COBRA, amended ERISA to provide for the continuation of health care coverage for employees and their beneficiaries for a limited period of time if certain events would otherwise result in a loss of welfare benefits.
Most recently, PPACA amended ERISA and other laws in an attempt to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and decrease the overall costs of health care. Our welfare benefits lawyers work with our clients to ensure that they are in compliance, as well as help them decrease employee benefit disputes and employee benefit claims.
Welfare Benefit Plans Areas of Practice
Our Welfare Benefits lawyers bring much needed expertise to helping organizations to:
- Understand welfare benefits, such as life, disability and apprenticeship plans, which are covered under ERISA law along with retirement and health.
- Ensure that their Welfare Benefit Plans, falling under ERISA law, contain provisions which obligate the covered plans to satisfy government reporting requirements and make disclosures to participants.
- In accordance with ERISA law provisions, ensure that welfare benefit plan funds are protected and that participants who qualify receive their welfare benefits.
Welfare Benefit Plan Clients
- Large, publicly-traded, multi-national corporations with operations across the United States
- Major U.S. financial institutions
- Small closely-held corporations
- Tax-exempt organizations, especially hospitals and physician organizations and their affiliates
- Governmental instrumentalities
- Professional and trade associations
- Trustees of Employee Benefit Plans
- Taft Hartley Funds
- Insurance Brokers and Consultants
- Plan Participants and Beneficiaries