Christen Sewell focuses on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation, including compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. Her practice covers tax-qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, equity compensation and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, among other areas.
Many lawsuits against employer group health plans hinge on the enforceability of the plan’s anti-assignment provision. ERISA does not give providers the right to sue for plan benefits. A provider’s lawsuit must be derived from the participant’s right to plan benefits. In other words, the participant must assign his or her right to the provider. … Continue Reading
On November 14, 2018, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations updating the 401(k) plan regulations for hardship distributions from section 401(k) plans. In particular, these proposed amendments reflect statutory changes including recent changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Plan sponsors of 401(k) plans have been … Continue Reading
Taxpayers may treat the $6,900 original annual contribution limit for family coverage to health savings accounts (“HSAs”) as the limit for 2018, according to IRS guidance released on April 26, 2018 (press release; IRS Rev. Proc. 2018-27). Employers that took steps to comply with the reduced limit may need to take action. As discussed in … Continue Reading
Changes to cost of living adjustments for health savings accounts (“HSAs”) by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (the “Act”) caused a $50 decrease in the contribution limit for family coverage to HSAs for 2018. The limit was reduced from $6,900 to $6,850 (original limit here; revised limit here). This affects only 2018 … Continue Reading
The IRS has provided interim guidance in Notice 2015-43 on the application of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act to expatriate health insurance issuers, expatriate health plans, and employers in their capacity as sponsors of expatriate health plans. The interim guidance is effective for policies that are issued or renewed on or after July … Continue Reading
The Obama administration recently issued final regulations implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity Act of 2008 (the “MHPAEA”). The regulations implement the MHPAEA’s prohibition against imposing limits on mental health and substance use disorder benefits that are more restrictive than the limits on medical and surgical benefits. The … Continue Reading
Corporate lawyers negotiating asset purchase agreements believe strongly in the concept of freedom of contract. Asset purchase agreements invariably have carefully crafted provisions dictating which assets and liabilities transfer to the buyer and which assets and liabilities remain with the seller. Unfortunately, when it comes to employee and employee benefit liabilities, courts don’t always respect these … Continue Reading