American Bar Association
Welfare Benefit Plans Committee

Welfare Benefit Plans Committee


The primary focus of this Committee is the regulation and enforcement, design, documentation, administration, communication, funding, and other aspects of the operation of health, disability and other leave, life, accident, severance, and other employee welfare benefit plans, funds, programs and arrangements, as well as related labor and employment matters commonly associated with these arrangements under the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, employment discrimination and employment laws, the Social Security Act, state insurance laws, and other laws. The Committee monitors legislative, regulatory, judicial and administrative developments impacting these programs. The Committee also sponsors various comment and resource development projects, hosts study group and other conference calls and publishes information for Section members on these topics, participates in meetings with regulators, and participates in or sponsors Section and Joint Committee on Employee Benefit CLE programs.

With health care regulation and reforms rapidly and constantly evolving, the Committee monitors legislative proposals to restructure the nation's health care delivery system,health plan matters are a significant focus of our Committee. Our Committee members work together to monitor, evaluate, and discuss strategies for meeting compliance, cost, administration and other challenges arisign from the sweeping health care reforms of the Affordable Care Act; HIPAA; COBRA, the FMLA, USERRA, the ADA, GINA, ADEA, Pregnancy Act, the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act, Michelle's Law, Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs, state insurance, and other laws. The Committee monitors legislative proposals to restructure the nation's health care delivery system, implementing regulations, judicial and administrative actions, and other developments. The Committee explores and develops resources about welfare benefit fund related fiduciary selection, allocation and action, vendor credentialing and contracting, provider contracting and managed care, plan and claims administration, insurance, cafeteria plan, VEBA and other welfare benefit trust and other funding mechanisms, and other related legal and operational concerns. The Committee also publishes information for Section members on these topics, and participates in or sponsors Section CLE programs.

The Committee also addresses the many complexities impacting the design, drafting, administration, and defense of non-pension funded and unfunded severance, disability, supplemental unemployment liability, vacation and other income replacement programs including tax; ERISA; Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) and other ADEA, ADA, USERRA and other employment laws, insurance laws, Social Security and other insurance integration and offset, and other related matters. The Committee has made written comments on regulations relating to OWBPA and other regulatory or enforcement positions.

We also address a broad range of funding

Committee members took part in the following activities: The Welfare Benefit Plans Committee Co-Chairs, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer and Elizabeth Ysla Leight presented a program on “The Changing Definition of Family after the Windsor Decision” and impact on benefit plan and related matters at the Section’s 2013 Fall Leadership Meeting in New Orleans “Hot Topics” program. The discussion provided insight on the year’s widely publicized DOMA decision, special helath care reform rules impacting who qualifies as a health plan dependent, implications for FMLA and USERRA and the host of rules broadening the scope of relationships afforded family-style protections for employment leave and employee benefit purposes. Make a decision to become more active and volunteer to take an active role in the Welfare Benefit Plans Committee. You can write an article, host a Study Group or participate in a meeting discussion.

LISTSERV Communication

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Mendel, Linda
Moody, Allison


Palmieri, Francis
Wiggins, Kevin

Committee Roster  

Modified by Adam Bielawski on December 5, 2017

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