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Kendra L. Roberson

Kendra Roberson has experience advising clients on a broad spectrum of employee benefits matters including tax-qualified retirement plans, employee stock ownership plans, executive compensation arrangements, stock option and other equity-based compensation plans, cafeteria plans, VEBAs, self-insured medical plans, and other health and welfare plans.  Her experience includes plan design and drafting, regulatory compliance, ERISA litigation, and handling employee benefits matters and plans in corporate transactions.  In addition, Ms. Roberson has extensive experience advising employers and state governments on compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”).

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Reducing Pension Costs By Increasing Defined Benefit Pensions: Kodak’s Innovative Approach

Kodak recently announced that it is increasing the benefits provided under its defined benefit plan.  Kodak will credit an additional 3% of pay each year under its cash balance pension plan instead of making a matching contribution of up to 3% of pay under its 401(k) plan.  In connection with this change, Kodak announced that … Continue Reading

Final Health Coverage Reporting Rules Offer Employers Little Relief

Many employers will face two significant new reporting requirements for employee health coverage starting next year: Section 6055 Return:  Employers and insurers that provide minimum essential coverage must report information to the IRS about each covered individual for each month, and provide a copy of the report to covered employees and retirees. Section 6056 Return:  … Continue Reading

Top Ten Things to Know about the Final Shared Responsibility Regulations

The final shared responsibility regulations under the Affordable Care Act, issued earlier this month, in large part maintain the rules set forth in the proposed regulations.  However, there are several ways in which the final regulations modify or clarify these rules.  Below is a top ten list (which we’re sure David Letterman would use if … Continue Reading

Dust Off HIPAA Policies and Procedures Before HHS Comes Knocking

Employers should be aware that the Department of Human Services (“HHS”) is stepping up its enforcement of requirements for covered entities, such as group health plans, to adopt and implement policies and procedures for protecting and securing protected health information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).  As our … Continue Reading

Could Smoking Cessation Programs Violate Mental Health Parity Rules? Traps for the Unwary in Recent Regulations

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

Department of Labor Confirms No Penalty For Failing to Provide Exchange Notice

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide to employees a written notice about public health exchanges (now called Health Insurance Marketplaces).  The Department of Labor issued a frequently asked question today confirming that employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) should provide the notice by October 1, 2013, but there is no … Continue Reading

Final Rules Confirm Contraceptive Coverage Exemption and Accommodation for Religious Institutions

Final regulations issued recently clarify and confirm the contraceptive coverage exemption and accommodation for religious institutions.  The Affordable Care Act generally requires non-grandfathered group health plans and insurance policies to cover the cost of contraceptives.  A religious employer, however, is entirely exempt from this requirement under the final regulations and under related guidelines issued by … Continue Reading

Treasury Delays ACA’s Employer Mandate until 2015

The Department of Treasury announced today that it is delaying the effective date of the tax imposed on employers (with at least 50 full-time employees) who fail to provide health coverage to full-time employees and their child dependents.  Under the Affordable Care Act, an employer that does not provide adequate coverage could be subject to … Continue Reading

ACA’s Employer Mandate in a Single Graphic

The Affordable Care Act’s “pay or play” mandate goes into effect starting in 2014.  Under the mandate, large employers (employers with 50 or more full-time employees) must either provide health coverage to their employees or pay an excise tax.  The chart below shows when the “pay or play” penalty applies and how to calculate the … Continue Reading

New FAQs Issued on Nondiscrimination, Clinical Trial, and Reporting Requirements under the Affordable Care Act

The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) recently issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (Part XV) (the “FAQs”), which provide that, starting in 2014, employers and health insurance issuers must implement two new requirements under ACA that apply to non-grandfathered group health plans: (1) a prohibition on discriminating … Continue Reading

Departments Publish Updated SBC Template, Making Few Changes for 2014

On April 23, 2013, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (the “Departments”) issued an updated template and sample completed template for summaries of benefits and coverage (“SBCs”) that must be provided for coverage beginning in 2014.  The Departments also released Frequently Asked Questions that include the following guidance: The only … Continue Reading

IRS Announces § 403(b) Plan Document Review Procedure for Prototype and Volume-Submitter Plans

The Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2013-22 yesterday (March 28, 2013).  The Revenue Procedure describes the Service’s new procedure for issuing opinion letters and advisory letters for prototype and volume-submitter § 403(b) plans; it revises the proposed procedure that was released four years ago in Announcement 2009-34.  As part of the proposed procedure, the … Continue Reading

ACA’s Cost-Sharing Limitations on Employer Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act has numerous provisions that restrict the amounts that employer-sponsored health plans may require employees to pay for health care.  These provisions include prohibitions on annual and lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits, restrictions on out-of-pocket maximums, and requirements to provide preventive care services and items at no cost to participants.  … Continue Reading

IRS Releases VCP Kit to Help 403(b) Plan Sponsors Who Failed to Timely Adopt a Plan Document

A § 403(b) plan that failed to adopt a plan document by December 31, 2009 is not entitled to favorable tax treatment.  However, under new guidance, a plan may regain its favorable tax treatment if it adopts a written plan document and requests a compliance statement through the Voluntary Compliance Program (“VCP”). The IRS recently released … Continue Reading

IRS Proposes Shared Responsibility Tax Rules for Employers

Starting in 2014, large employers will have to pay a “shared responsibility” excise tax up to $3,000 per employee if they fail to provide affordable health coverage to full-time employees and their dependents.  The Treasury Department and IRS have published a proposed regulation and frequently-asked questions that make important changes in prior guidance. … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulations Will Permit Greater Incentives for Participation in Wellness Programs

On November 26, 2012, the IRS and Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services published in the Federal Register proposed regulations that would permit group health plans to provide greater incentives for participation in wellness programs.  The proposed regulations include a welcome implementation of statutory changes that were made by the Affordable Care Act, … Continue Reading

Wellness Program Non-Participation Penalty Does Not Violate ADA, Says Eleventh Circuit

Wellness programs have become a popular tool for employers to address ever-increasing employee healthcare costs. However, wellness program designs are limited by the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other laws.  A recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit in Seff v. Broward County may make it easier for employers to provide wellness … Continue Reading
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