Nancy R. Chawla

Ninth Circuit Clarifies State Laws Regulating Insurance Do Not Void Discretionary Clauses In Self-Funded ERISA Plans

By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

The Ninth Circuit recently held discretionary clauses in a self-funded plan were valid and that California Insurance Code § 10110.6, banning discretionary clause relating to insurance, was preempted by ERISA when applied to a self-funded plan. Williby v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 867 F.3d 1129 (9th Cir. 2017).

The employee benefit at issues was Boeing’s self-funded short-term disability plan (STD Plan), because it contained a discretionary clause. The […]

2017-11-07T15:53:30+00:00 November 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Oregon Retirement Program Faces Court Challenge

By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has filed a lawsuit challenging the enforceability of the OregonSaves Retirement Program (OregonSaves). The ERISA Industry Committee v. Read, No. 3:17-cv-1605 (D. Or. Oct. 12, 2017).

Background: OregonSaves, a state-run retirement program, was established to help private-sector employees save more money. It mandates employers who do not sponsor a retirement program to participate in the program. Employers who sponsor a retirement program must […]

2017-10-26T09:37:46+00:00 October 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Exemptions Expanded Under Interim Final Rules

By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

Last week the Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services (Departments) published rules exempting employers from the contraceptive coverage mandate created under the Affordable Care Act.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of women stand to lose access to contraceptive services.

Background: One feature of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was the contraceptive coverage mandate. The mandate paved the way for women […]

2017-10-12T09:59:25+00:00 October 11th, 2017|0 Comments

Benefit Plan Discretionary Clauses Dealt A Blow In California

By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

Last month, the Ninth Circuit dealt a blow to discretionary clauses contained within ERISA plans when it held that a California statutory provision that banned discretionary clauses was not preempted by ERISA. Orzechowski v. Boeing Co. Non-Union Long-Term Disability Plan (9th Cir. May 11, 2017).

Almost three decades ago, the U.S. Supreme Court created the rule that a de novo standard of review should apply to a denial […]

2017-10-26T09:49:44+00:00 July 21st, 2017|0 Comments

On Second Thought, DOL Proposes 60-Day Delay to Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date

By: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

On March 1, 2017, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) issued a proposed rule to extend the Fiduciary Rule applicability date by 60 days. The current applicability dates for the Fiduciary Duty Rule and prohibited transaction exemptions are set for April 10, 2017. The extension would move the applicability dates to June 9, 2017.

As mentioned in our previous blog post, “To Delay or Not to Delay (the Fiduciary […]

2017-03-03T16:24:20+00:00 March 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

President Obama Provides a Parting Gift: A Health Reimbursement Arrangement for Small Employers

Authors: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

In December 2016, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act (Act), giving employers with less than 50 employees a tool to help their employees pay for medical expenses without being subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform requirements.

ACA Exemption
Beginning January 1, 2017, small employers may offer Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRA) to employees who purchased health plans in the individual […]

2017-10-26T09:52:06+00:00 January 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

A New Year’s Eve Surprise…Court Enjoins the HHS From Enforcing the ACA’s Prohibition of Discrimination on the Basis of “Gender Identity” and “Termination of Pregnancy”

Authors: Joseph P. Yonadi, Jr. and Nancy R. Chawla

On December 31, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS) from enforcing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy.” See Franciscan Alliance, Inc. v. Burwell, No. 7:16-cv-00108-O (N.D. […]

2017-10-26T09:53:23+00:00 January 13th, 2017|0 Comments