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Summary Plan Description: Paper or Electronic?

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Department of Labor (DOL) regulations describe when an employer can distribute benefit information including the Summary Plan Description (SPD), Summary of Annual Report (SAR), Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and other required benefit notices (i.e. Medicare Part D, Women’s Heath and Cancer Rights Act, Privacy Notices, etc.) electronically to plan participants.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: SPD , DOL , Summary Plan Description , Department of Labor , Electronic Distribution , Safe Harbor , Thomas v. CIGNA Group Ins , SAR , SBC , Employee Notices

ERISA Compliance: Wrap Plans and SPD Requirements

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ERISA, which is short for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, is a set of federal laws designed to protect employees of private employers who provide pension, retirement, or profit-sharing plans; and private employers who provide insurance coverage. Wrap plans are a function of complying with ERISA’s plan document and summary plan description (SPD) requirements. Remember: Wrap plans are an easy way to create the companion ERISA language to the insurance certificates so that when dist...
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: ERISA , DOL , Wrap Plans , SPD , Summary Plan Description , Plan documents , 5500 , Compliance Services

Employer Plan Notices Are Now in Season!

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With open enrollment fast-approaching for many employers, it is also a good time for employers to take stock of whether they have provided all necessary documents and notices for their health and welfare benefit plans to their employees and plan participants this year.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: Notice , Compliance , Benefits , SPD , SMM , SBC , SAR , Medicare Part D , Notice of Creditable Coverage , COBRA , HIPAA , CHIP , WHCRA , Wellness , ADA , Grandfathered Plan , MIchelle's Law
The recent Mull v. Motion Picture Industry Health Plan case (No. 15-56246 (9th Cir. August 1, 2017) illustrates the importance of complying with ERISA’s Plan Document and Summary Plan Description (SPD) requirements.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: ERISA , DOL , Wrap , Plan Document , SPD , Summary Plan Description , Mull v. Motion Picture Ind. Health Plan
Open Enrollment season generally has employers asking if they can send benefit documents via email or post to the company’s intranet site versus distributing information by paper.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: DOL , Electronic Delivery , Safe Harbor , SPD

SPD Posted on Intranet not Enough

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Employers that are subject to ERISA are required to provide a summary plan description (SPD) to the participants in a health or welfare plan sponsored and maintained by the employer. The SPD can be distributed electronically. However, simply posting the SPD on the employer’s intranet does not satisfy the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) electronic SPD distribution criteria.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: SPD , Plan