Kirsten Garcia has extensive experience providing practical advice on complying with the Affordable Care Act, including its penalties and reporting, disclosure, plan design, and fee requirements, and other federal laws affecting health and welfare benefits and wellness programs.
Since the ACA’s enactment, Kirsten has devoted much of her time to assisting clients in determining how the law impacts them. A routine day includes interpreting coverage mandates and disclosure requirements, advising on permissible plan design options, strategizing management of employer penalty risk, and drafting look back measurement periods. Most recently, Kirsten drafted provisions in vendor agreements of several large employers to ensure avoidance of employer penalties with respect to contract labor. Clients and colleagues use Kirsten as a “go-to” person for understanding the latest guidance and strategies for ACA compliance.
In addition, Kirsten regularly advises employers on compliance with the operational and documentation requirements under federal and state laws governing employee retirement and welfare benefit plans, including ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, COBRA and HIPAA. Such assistance includes representation during government audits and investigations, such as by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor, correction of operational or document failures or errors, reporting compliance, drafting required documentation and disclosures, and conducting employee training.
Kirsten is a frequent speaker and writer on issues affecting health and welfare plans. Groups she has spoken to include the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists DFW and Houston Chapters, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network – Dallas Chapter, Employment Law Updates sponsored by the Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio Chambers of Commerce, the Dallas Bar Association Employee Benefits / Executive Compensation Section and the International Association of Privacy Professionals Dallas KnowledgeNet. She has authored articles appearing the New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Employee Benefit Plan Review, Dallas Business Journal and Fort Worth Business Press. Every other month, she presents a legislative update at the DFW ISCEBS Chapter meeting.
Professional and Community Activities
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association; Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee Member, 2012-2014