Primarily based on his experience as an insurance regulator, Frank become interested in self-funded insurance benefit plans in the early 1990s. What started out as an academic interest in preemption issues arising under State and federal employee benefit plan law has blossomed into a niche practice area that our firm handles. Our office represents Third Party Administrators, Managing General Underwriters, insurance consultants and group benefits insurance brokers on a variety of concerns. These include:
- conflict of interest analysis between market participants and how to protect against associated liabilities;
- fiduciary and “prudent man” duties of employers and plan sponsors;
- risk attenuation and cost saving accomplished through artfully crafted contract provisions and the formation and operation of alternative risk sharing entities;
- claims based on the wrongful use of plan assets;
- beneficiary claims against trustees;
- ASO liability claims based on breaches of fiduciary duty;
- proscribed conduct and activities that give rise to breach claims of the “sub duties” of loyalty, care, skill and diligence, prudence and plan asset diversification;
- representation before State insurance regulators; and
- internal compliance auditing in anticipation of an investigation.
Like much of our work, this type of practice requires the lawyer to really drill down into the materials and law. The complexity of Treasury Bulletins and Department of Labor Regulations cannot be overstated—many liken it to “Old Church” Latin! Solely based on word of mouth, our office has become known for its cost-effective, timely and detailed advice.