Health and Welfare Plans Practice Group


As healthcare costs continue to rise at alarming rates, employees increasingly cite health care coverage as one of the primary considerations for taking a job and for staying at a job.  In order to attract and retain the best workforce possible, companies strive to offer attractive health and welfare benefit packages. 

In sponsoring health and welfare plans, companies must ensure that they maintain the required documents, policies and procedures, and that their documents comply with the applicable laws. They also must administer their plans, policies and procedures in compliance with the various laws that apply to and impact health and welfare plans. 

Haynes and Boone’s employee benefit lawyers provide companies with knowledgeable and experienced counseling in all aspects of health and welfare issues, including document and administrative compliance.  Our lawyers are available, ready to respond to any issue and prepared to help companies of any size design and implement many types of health and welfare plans.  In addition, our group will work with the company’s existing documents, policies and procedures in order to provide the highest quality services in a cost-effective manner.

Plan Design and Implementation
Haynes and Boone’s experience includes designing, drafting and helping companies adopt and implement:

  • Section 125 cafeteria plans including premium only plans, health care flexible spending accounts and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • Self-funded medical plans, including active and retiree medical plans
  • Health reimbursement account plans
  • Health savings account plans
  • Dental plans
  • Vision plans
  • “Wrap plans” for fully-insured arrangements to fill in gaps commonly left by insurance certificates of coverage
  • Adoption assistance plans

In addition, our lawyers can help negotiate agreements with third party vendors including:

  • Third party administrator agreements
  • COBRA administrator agreements
  • Business Associate Agreements required by the HIPAA privacy and security rules

Finally, we routinely help companies with required under health and welfare plan policies and procedures,  including:

  • Qualified Medical Child Support/National Medical Support Notice procedures
  • HIPAA privacy policies and procedures
  • Claims and appeals procedures that comply with ERISA
  • COBRA compliance procedures

Plan Disclosures
In addition to maintaining a written plan document, virtually all health and welfare plans are subject to additional disclosure requirements.  We help companies comply with these requirements by drafting disclosures, such as:

  • Summary plan descriptions
  • The four separate notices required by COBRA
  • HIPAA privacy notices
  • Notices of creditable coverage
  • Preexisting condition exclusion notices
  • Women’s Health and Cancer Rights notice
  • Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act notice

Compliance
Haynes and Boone is a leading firm in helping companies nationwide address compliance concerns related to their health and welfare plans. We routinely advise companies on COBRA compliance, HIPAA compliance and employee privacy concerns. Ensuring claims and appeal procedures and disclosures comply with ERISA is also an integral part of our practice.

In recent years, numerous court cases have exposed the substantial liabilities to companies whose health and welfare plans are not in proper order. Our lawyers closely follow these developments and can help companies audit their plans and ensure they are in full compliance with the law.

Our goal is saving you time and money by identifying potential liability issues prior to exposure in litigation or government investigations. We closely follow all health and welfare plan developments, including proposed legislation, so that we can alert you well in advance to changes requiring substantial changes on your part.