Alexandra Lugo is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group and a member of the Employee Benefits team. Alexandra advises for-profit and nonprofit entities on all aspects of health and retirement plan compliance and administration. She works with companies at varying stages of development—from startups to Fortune 500 companies—on federal, state, and local laws governing employee benefit plans. Alexandra also analyzes employee benefit plan compliance and transition planning issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
My practice focuses on employee benefit plan compliance and administration—assisting companies to design, administer and ensure the ongoing compliance of their employee benefit plans and programs.
As employee benefits become an increasingly attractive hiring and retention tool, it’s important that companies design benefit programs with their employee population in mind and ensure they deliver those programs on a tax-free basis to the fullest extent possible under the law.
I’ve advised companies on a variety of health and welfare programs, from self-insured medical plans to fully insured dental, vision and disability plans as well as wellness programs and retiree-only reimbursement arrangements. And, I have experience advising companies on retirement plan compliance issues, including multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability. While I focus on providing guidance to employers, I also assist individuals in benefit plan matters such as requesting excise tax waivers from the Internal Revenue Service in connection with retirement plan required minimum distribution failures, and in securing retirement benefits under Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.
I recently assisted a consortium of New York State municipalities seeking approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services to establish and operate a self-insured municipal cooperative health benefit plan for school district and board of cooperative education services employees.
I advise health insurance companies, employer-sponsored group health plans and providers regarding compliance with HIPAA and state privacy and data security laws, including state laws governing mental health and substance abuse treatment records. I analyze emerging privacy and data security issues raised in connection with health insurer and provider participation in Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs).
I analyze employee benefit plan transition and compliance issues raised in connection with corporate mergers and acquisitions. From small startups with no existing benefit programs to international organizations with sophisticated benefit plans, I’ve advised a wide range of entities and enjoy learning more about my clients’ businesses and employee benefit needs in the process.
As out-of-network providers become more aggressive in pursuing litigation against employer-sponsored group health plans, plan sponsors should take stock of their plan documents and ensure they include protective language designed to prohibit legal challenges to lawful benefit plan designs.
Buffalo Business First | December 06, 2018
Buffalo Corporate associate Alexandra Lugo is interviewed on how companies can create employee wellness programs that benefit workers, boost the bottom line and comply with regulations.
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