Health & Welfare Plans



Each year, the number of laws governing the provision of health and other welfare plans grows, and existing laws become increasingly complex. Even a well-intentioned employer can quickly find itself enmeshed in a confusing patchwork of federal, state, and, at times, local regulations. Nixon Peabody’s Employee Benefits team includes a group of professionals who concentrate exclusively in this area of practice and are equipped to respond to such legal complexities.

Members of the team have decades of experience guiding employers through various compliance issues and requirements. The team includes an attorney who brings years of hands-on experience in human resources and employee benefit plan administration. Through her previous role overseeing the U.S. health and welfare benefits programs for a Fortune 500 company, she encountered the same business challenges our clients face daily. Combined with substantive knowledge and this significant understanding from an insider’s perspective, the team is able to align a client’s business objectives with the client’s culture in a practical and cost-effective manner. By working collaboratively and proactively with our clients, we are able to implement innovative and cost-saving plan designs while minimizing the likelihood of lawsuits against welfare benefit plans and their sponsors.

Welfare plan counseling services

The team provides a wide range of service offerings, each informed by years of experience working with our deep roster of clients, both large and small. They cover all aspects of the sector, including:

  • Advising on group health, disability, and life insurance plans
  • Designing and troubleshooting cafeteria benefit plans that provide pre-tax premium, health care flexible spending, and/or dependent care benefits
  • Reviewing agreements with third-party administrators and insurance brokers to check that plan vendors are offering compliant, value-added services to their employer clients
  • Counsel concerning the tax and insurance aspects of domestic partner or same-gender marriage benefits
  • Providing guidance and forms to address COBRA health care continuation requirements
  • Advising on the continuing effects of federal, state, and local health care reform on employer medical and wellness benefit plans
  • Counseling on compliance with the special health plan privacy rules of HIPAA

How your minor health incentives can leave you wide open to major legal trouble

HRMorning | May 30, 2017

This article is about company wellness programs and highlights a recent presentation by Rochester labor and employment partner Kate Saracene which outlined employers’ compliance obligations and issues they may encounter.

Attorneys React To Supreme Court's ACA Save

Law360 | June 25, 2015

Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene provides commentary on the Supreme Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.

With Supreme Court Case Over, ACA's Loose Ends Are New Target

Crain's New York Business: Health Pulse | June 25, 2015

As the Supreme Court winds down its current term, Rochester Employee Benefits and Labor & Employment partner Kate Saracene discusses the Court’s highly-anticipated Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision.

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