Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

Revised SBCs Finalized (for use on or after April 2017)

in Welfare Benefits

Recently, we summarized the proposed revisions to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage template.  This week, the agencies issued the final SBCs and related documents that must be used beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after April 1, 2017 with respect to coverage for plan years beginning on or after that date.  In other words, for calendar year plans, these revised forms must be used during the open enrollment associated with the 2018 plan year. The final SBC template is substantially the same as the proposed form.  There are some changes… Continue Reading

Disability Claims Procedures Get an Affordable Care Act Makeover

in Welfare Benefits

In light of the volume of litigation involving claims for disability benefits, and the perceived need to improve procedural protections for workers who become disabled, the DOL is updating the disability claims and appeals procedures. Issued today, the newly proposed regulations mirror in large part the rules that are now in place for claims relating to health benefits, as revised under the Affordable Care Act for non-grandfathered health plans. The proposed rules are intended to reduce conflicts of interests by those making the disability benefit claims and appeals decisions. The hiring, compensation, and promotion of individuals adjudicating claims cannot be… Continue Reading

Affect of Obergefell on Benefit Plans

in Court Cases, Health Benefits, Retirement Plans, Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

For the second time in exactly two years, the United States Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision relating to same-sex marriages. Two years ago, in United States v. Windsor, the Court recognized same-sex marriages for federal law purposes. However, states were not required to recognize same-sex marriages entered into under the laws of another state. On June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Court went further, holding that all states must recognize a marriage as valid if it was valid in the jurisdiction in which it was performed, and also required that all states license same-sex marriages. State… Continue Reading