Covington has one of the country’s leading employee benefits and executive compensation practices. We advise some of the world’s largest multinational companies on compensation and benefits matters, including Alcatel-Lucent, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Honeywell, IBM, MeadWestvaco, Norfolk Southern, Textron, United Technologies, Verizon, and Xerox. Covington’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice, and individual partners in the practice, are recognized in publications such as Chambers USA; Legal 500 US; The Best Lawyers in America; Human Resource Executive Magazine; Employment Law360; Euromoney’s Expert Guides to the World’s Leading Lawyers; Washington D.C. Super Lawyers; and PLC Which Lawyer.

We have been intimately involved in the development of health reform law, and we continue to work closely with our clients on a wide array of issues that affect their group health plans and their relationships with health care providers, vendors, and administrators. For example, in the last several months we have:

  • assisted a number of large employers with their applications for reimbursement under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program;
  • advised governmental entities on a variety of issues affecting health plans for state and local government employees, including the application of amended provisions of the Public Health Service Act and the effect of amendments to the “opt-out” election for self-funded plans;
  • advised both governmental and corporate employers concerning the effect of prospective amendments on the “grandfathered” status of their group health plans;
  • helped employers restructure their group health plans to take advantage of exemptions for retiree-only plans and excepted benefits;
  • advised employers on a number of new health mandates, including the elimination of annual and lifetime limits and the requirement to cover adult children;
  • helped employers move their prescription drug coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees from private plans receiving the Medicare retiree drug subsidy to Medicare Part D employer group waiver plans;
  • advised employers on compliance with new rules concerning mental health parity, health privacy, and genetic information; and
  • addressed employer and provider groups concerning the effect of the new health reform legislation on employer wellness programs and retiree health plans.

As counsel to The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), the voice for over 100 large public companies, and on behalf of individual clients, we are directly involved in ongoing efforts to shape the interpretation and application of the new health reform provisions and other recent laws affecting employer group health plans.  Our lawyers have served in senior positions in all of the federal agencies that will interpret and enforce the new health plan requirements, including Principal Associate Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Deputy General Counsel of HHS; Deputy Secretary of Labor; Solicitor of Labor; and Associate Benefits Tax Counsel in the Treasury Department.


Health Reform Developments

Health Reform Overview

Automatic Enrollment

Claims and Appeals and External Review Processes

Coverage of Dependent Children to Age 26

Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

Essential Health Benefits

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

Grandfathered Plans 

Health FSA Limitations

Health Insurance Exchanges

Health Insurance Market Reforms (guaranteed availability, etc.)

Implementation FAQs 

Medical Loss Ratio Requirement for Insurers

Medicare Tax

Mental Health Parity 

Minimum Value

Nondiscrimination Rules

Over-the-Counter Drug Limitations

Patient-Centered Outcomes Fee

Preventive Care

Prohibited Coverage Limits and Other Patient Protections

Reinsurance Program Fee

Reporting Requirements

Shared Responsibility Penalty

Uniform Benefit Summaries

Waiting Period

Waiver Process for Annual Dollar Limits

Wellness Programs

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