Kristine works with clients on a variety of issues related to health and welfare and retirement plans. Her practice includes advising clients about all aspects of ERISA and Internal Revenue Code compliance as it relates to employee benefit plans, as well as drafting and amending plan documents, and negotiating plan service provider agreements. She advises clients on compliance with health care reform, COBRA, HIPAA, nondiscrimination rules, fiduciary duties, qualified domestic relations orders, reporting and disclosure requirements, Code Section 125 cafeteria plans, and other fringe benefits. Kristine also has substantial experience advising employers on employment law and she is a seasoned public speaker on employee benefits and employment law topics.
Insights by Kristine M. Bingman
On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) (P.L. 117-169), a budget reconciliation act focused on tax reform, climate change, and healthcare costs. One notable provision of the IRA for employers is the expansion of coverage of insulin under high deductible health plans (HDHPs).
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly anticipated decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392. The Dobbs decision expressly overrules the two key precedents that established and upheld a constitutional right to abortion and gives states the authority to regulate abortion.
On February 23, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas struck down the part of the interagency interim final rule implementing the “independent dispute resolution” (IDR) procedures created by the No Surprises Act, which took effect for calendar-year plans on January 1, 2022 (Texas Medical Association v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Though the bulk of the rule remains in effect, the changes will impact health plans and the employers that sponsor them.
Treasury Department, DOL, and HHS Provide Guidance on New Flexibility in Coverage of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests
On February 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of the Treasury, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued subregulatory guidance that provides greater flexibility and clarifies a few points on the required coverage of over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests, which took effect for employer health plans and health insurers on January 15, 2022. The guidance, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), expands on the agencies’ prior guidance, which was issued last month. That initial guidance outlined the required coverage under section 6001 of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and established enforcement safe harbors for plans and insurers.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued some much-needed guidance surrounding the application of deadline extensions that the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) previously issued for initial elections under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) and initial and subsequent premium payments.
The U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Department of the Treasury recently issued regulatory guidance on the requirement that health plans cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment—“a comprehensive intervention comprised of antiretroviral medication and essential support services”—on a first-dollar basis for individuals at high risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).