The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires most employers who offer health and welfare benefits to maintain and distribute Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) to all plan participants within 90 days of enrollment of a new plan, within 30 days if requested by a participant, or within 120 days of the effective date of any new plan. Failure to meet this requirement can result in large fines and penalties of up to $110 per employee, per day.
In accordance with ERISA, all employers must have a written Summary Plan Description for each separate welfare benefit plan it offers. The Summary Plan Description must inform participants of eligibility requirements, benefits, claims and appeals procedures, and their rights under ERISA, regardless of employer size, number of employees, or whether benefits are paid for by the employer or its employees, through insurance or self-funding, or with pre-tax or after-tax money.
In accordance with ERISA, all employers must have a written Summary Plan Description for each separate welfare benefit plan it offers.
Employer-provided benefits that are considered “employee welfare benefit plans” under ERISA include:
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance plans
- Health flexible spending accounts (also known as health care reimbursement accounts)
- Prescription drug plans
- Accidental death and dismemberment (“AD&D”) insurance plans
- Long-term and short-term disability plans
- Group term life insurance plans
One way to stay compliant is to contract with a provider that can furnish your company with a “Wrap” document (or plan document). A wrap document provides the information required by ERISA by incorporating, or “wrapping” itself around, the insurance policy or similar third-party contract. When a wrap document is utilized, the insurance policy or contract remains part of the plan document. That is, the “wrap” document and the insurance policy or contract together comprise the complete plan document.
If utilizing a combination plan document that includes the wrap document and SPD (Summary Plan Description) information, the combination plan document, referred to as an SPD Wrap document, will include all information required by ERISA.
If your company needs assistance creating an SPD Wrap document, Blue Chip Benefits would like to recommend your company contract with HR Service, Inc. They are a company we trust that can assist in getting and keeping your company compliant for a very reasonable price. They also offer other compliance related support to companies who do not receive compliance services through their insurance company. Let HR Service, Inc. know Blue Chip Benefits referred you and you will receive a 5% discount.
Contact: HR Service, Inc.
Phone: (385) 237-5680
A stand-alone SPD Wrap document is priced at $129/year.
If interested in the ERISA eSolutions package, the price is $399/year and includes:
- SPD Wrap and/or 125 Premium Only Plan (POP)
- Employee Notifications (including HIPAA, initial COBRA, health exchange, etc.)
- Employment Law Updates and Reminders
- Compliance Assessment and Dashboard (helps employers determine an overall risk assessment and provides a list of missing compliance items needing addressed)
- HIPAA Tool Kid (HIPAA policies, compliance checklist requirements, forms and documents needed to be HIPAA compliant)
- Health Exchange Notice
As always, Blue Chip Benefits is here to support you. Give us a call if you experience any issues connecting with HR Services, Inc. by calling us at (888) 225-8244, X701, or emailing MaureenDJ@BlueChipBG.com, or Team@BlueChipBG.com
About Blue Chip Benefits, Ltd.: Blue Chip Benefits specializes in supporting companies with group benefits that include medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, and more. Our team navigates the health insurance system with our clients, to ensure benefits meet the needs of the organization as well as its employees. Blue Chip Benefits is known for finding and advising on the best plans for the best price.
About Maureen de Jongh, PHR: Maureen owns and manages Blue Chip Benefits and is a licensed health and life insurance broker in 11 different states, including Colorado and Texas. She has her Human Resources PHR Certification, so she can better assist companies with Human Resources compliance matters. Her focus is to help clients navigate the healthcare system and ensure compliance with any applicable laws that may apply.