Never before has compliance and regulation had such an important role in the administration of group health plans known as employee welfare benefit plans. In the private sector, these plans are governed by the Employee Benefit Security Act (ERISA). ERISA provides certain protections and rights to plan participants (employees) as well as places much fiduciary responsibility onto the shoulders of the employers regarding standards of conduct and the availability or access of plan information to those insured.

Since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, many further provisions have been added to areas of compliance and regulation as well as a stiff number of penalties for those businesses who choose not to participate or work within the parameters of these laws.

Penalties as high as $110 per day per employee can be assessed for those employers not willing to abide by the new and old rules of employee welfare benefit plans.

Our firm helps focus our clients’ attention on five main areas of concern. As above mentioned, the ACA and ERISA are the most talked about areas of concern currently and where seemingly most are focusing; however, highly relevant laws which coincide with the ACA are just as important when it comes to satisfying all that the Department of Labor requires of most private enterprises. Three other very important laws needing just as much attention are the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These federal laws if not followed could be detrimental to a business if/when a Department of Labor audit is performed. The partners of IEN have outsourced compliance testing and preparedness to the nation’s largest privately owned non‐medical Third Party Administrator, TASC.

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