Yes, in addition to printed copies of the SPD, employers can use CDs or DVDs to provide the SPD. Consent of the participant is not necessary if the CD or DVD method is used. Whatever the method chosen, the SPD timing and recordkeeping requirements established by ERISA must be adhered to. During litigation or audits, … Continue reading ARE THERE ALTERNATE METHODS OF DISTRIBUTION?
WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYEES/PARTICIPANTS/ BENEFICIARIES WITHOUT WORK-RELATED COMPUTER ACCESS?
Documents can be electronically distribution to employees in a non-work-site location so long as the employee has affirmatively consented to being provided documents electronically. Additionally this can be extended to employees without computer access, COBRA beneficiaries, retirees, QDRO alternate payees, or any other person who is required to receive a document. The electronic consent must … Continue reading WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYEES/PARTICIPANTS/ BENEFICIARIES WITHOUT WORK-RELATED COMPUTER ACCESS?
WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYEES/PARTICIPANTS AND WORK-RELATED COMPUTER ACCESS?
In order for electronic transmission to be permitted, the employee/participant must be able to effectively access electronic documents at any location where they are reasonably expected to perform their job duties, and where access to the company’s electronic information system, e-mail, is an integral part of said duties. This is applicable to employees who telecommute, … Continue reading WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYEES/PARTICIPANTS AND WORK-RELATED COMPUTER ACCESS?
For the most part, there are two groups that can receive information electronically; one being the employees/participants with work related computer access, and the other being those without, but have provided consent to having information sent to them electronically. All other participants or beneficiaries are subject to alternative methods of distribution such as printed documents.
Distribution of an SPD, or Summary Plan Description, must be made to all participants covered by the welfare or pension plan in question. The SPD can either be combined with the Plan document, or can act as a stand-alone document. For fully insured plans, the usual practice is to incorporate the Certificate of coverage that … Continue reading WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS AROUND SPD DISTRIBUTION?
WHO BECOMES THE SPONSOR OF AN INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTARY BENEFIT IF THE EMPLOYERS DECIDES NOT TO SPONSOR IT?
Since it is a purchase of individual insurance, a sponsor is not necessary. The employer would only be allowed to collect premiums, after-tax only, and remit them to the Insurer. The employer is not allowed to receive any compensation for these services other than reasonable compensation for administrative services. Essentially they must take a “hands-off” … Continue reading WHO BECOMES THE SPONSOR OF AN INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTARY BENEFIT IF THE EMPLOYERS DECIDES NOT TO SPONSOR IT?
SHOULD WE INCLUDE PRE-TAX INDIVIDUAL WORKSITE (VOLUNTARY) BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE (E.G. DISABILITY) BY OUR EMPLOYEES, IN OUR SPD?
Individual voluntary insurance can be treated in to distinct manners. One option is to treat them as an employer-sponsored plan; which would thereby be covered under ERISA and would be subject to all the reporting and disclosure requirements. The other option is to treat them as a non-employer sponsored benefit. To determine if a plan … Continue reading SHOULD WE INCLUDE PRE-TAX INDIVIDUAL WORKSITE (VOLUNTARY) BENEFITS THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE (E.G. DISABILITY) BY OUR EMPLOYEES, IN OUR SPD?
HOW CAN WE TELL IF A BENEFIT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE SPD, FOR EXAMPLE PET INSURANCE OR PRE-PAID LEGAL?
The only benefits that are required to be included in the SPD are health and welfare plans, essentially medical, dental, vision, life, disability and AD&D. Any other benefits including Pet insurance or Pre-paid legal can be excluded.
IF A FULLY INSURED PLAN SIMPLY CHANGED MEDICAL CARRIERS, DOES AN AMENDMENT HAVE TO BE ISSUED? OR IS THAT CONSIDERED A SMM?
Typically employers state this type of change in their open enrollment materials, and then treat that as a Summary of Material Modification. Technically they should also amend the combined Plan Document/SPD to reflect the change in carriers. The amendment could be a simple single state that explains the change in carrier (i.e. MultiState will now … Continue reading IF A FULLY INSURED PLAN SIMPLY CHANGED MEDICAL CARRIERS, DOES AN AMENDMENT HAVE TO BE ISSUED? OR IS THAT CONSIDERED A SMM?
We advise selecting one of the first two options. Option 1: “Transplant benefits are provided under a separate transplant program and will include the services of a transplant coordinator to assist you. Arrangements will be made at a facility approved by the Plan. Covered transplant services include room and board, physician’s fees, and other related … Continue reading HOW SHOULD I ADD A CARVE-OUT BENEFIT FOR TRANSPLANT SERVICES?