Real Medial Featured Truss CEO Steve Nicholson in LinkedIn Business Series

Real Media LLC recently introduced a new LinkedIn business series called “Real Talk.” Joel Goldberg hosts KC Metro CEOs, Business Owners, Thought Leaders and Influencers to talk about what they do, how they do it, and what they are doing in our community. We are proud to be a part of this new series and our CEO Steve Nicholson was featured in the first episode. Check-out Real Media’s LinkedIn page for updates, clips, and future guests! These area leaders are great people doing great things!

New Disability Claims and Appeals Procedures

As a reminder, the Department of Labor (DOL) delayed the effective date of new claims procedures for disability-related benefits (including claims under group health plans and retirement plans that require a determination of disability by the plan administrator) issued by the Obama Administration. These were originally effective January 1, 2018. On January 5, 2018, the DOL announced these procedures will now take effect April 1, 2018.

These regulations modify the procedures that must be followed by ERISA plans when ruling on disability-related claims and appeals. Discretionary disability determinations ( i.e., where a plan does not simply rely on a determination made by a third-party, such as the Social Security Administration or a long-term disability insurer) will now be subject to many of the same rules that already apply to health claims. Any plan that fails to follow these procedures could find it harder to defend against litigation filed by a plan participant or beneficiary.

Presumably, disability insurers will be ready to comply with these regulations by the April 1 date. But sponsors and administrators of self-funded plans that require discretionary disability determinations should consider taking the following steps:

  • Come into substantive compliance with the regulations by April 1. This may require coordination with a third-party administrator when disability claims are not administered by a fully insured carrier.
    • If you currently have an up to date Wrap Plan Document (WPD), adopt any necessary plan amendment, if possible by that same date. It is not entirely clear that IRS guidance would allow a welfare plan amendment to be adopted retroactively.
    • If you do not currently have a Wrap Plan Document, create one. Truss has two partnerships for WPD creation. The pricing for these services comes directly from the partner and varies based on needs. Your dedicated Truss Client Advisor can discuss options with you further.
  • If appropriate, issue a Summary of Material Modifications (or revised Summary Plan Description). Although ERISA allows ample time for doing so, a more prompt SMM may put the plan sponsor in a better position in the event of litigation.
  • Update any internal policies or procedures for resolving disability-related claims. For the most part, this will require conforming those policies to ones already in place for health claims when disability claims are not administrated by the fully insured carrier.

Note: Wrap Plan Documents (and any applicable amendments) are legal documents that should be drafted and/or reviewed by your ERISA attorney. Truss cannot offer legal advice.

In Case You Missed It:

TrussU Webinar: Preventing Harassment and Discrimination

This free webinar discusses the “why” and “how” of preventing and responding to all instances of discrimination and harassment in your organization.

You’ll learn what the EEOC considers an effective program of prevention, training, and response. You’ll also learn about training options available for consideration. Finally, you’ll get practical instruction into how to conduct your own internal investigations in response to a complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. The recorded webinar is available here:

Join the Two West 4.01K Race!

We invite you to join our friends at Two West in supporting Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City by participating in the 4.01K Race for Financial Fitness-Virtual Edition. This fitness challenge event is a great way to log the workouts you were already going to do from April 2 – 19 and compete against others in your peer group. Or it’s a great reason to start working out!

As a sponsor of this event, Two West will make a contribution to Junior Achievement for each friend of Two West that signs up. There are a limited number of free entries so register today! Deadline to register is April 2.

Join Us! Here are a Few of Our Upcoming Webinars

April 19, 2018: Investing in your Portfolio presented by Two West Advisors
Our financial education webinars are designed to help you make that plan.

May 2, 2018: A Fiduciary’s Approach to Investments Edition presented by Two West Advisors
Understand the fiduciary implications of investment selection, follow best practices, and maximize participant outcomes.