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Catherine Stowers

Catherine Stowers

Catherine Stowers is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group. Ms. Stowers concentrates her practice on health and welfare benefit plan issues and cafeteria plan compliance and documentation. She previously served as counsel to a third-party benefits administrator, which afforded her substantial experience with claims administration and legal compliance for self-funded and multi-employer health plans. Ms. Stowers has also worked with health plan sponsors in resolving issues related to plan design and documentation, claim appeals and disputes, and issues related to stop-loss coverage.\r\n\r\nHer practice focuses on issues facing employers, consultants and benefit administrators in the health and welfare arena, with particular emphasis in the areas of health care reform, HIPAA, COBRA, and ERISA claims, consumer driven health care plan design and compliance issues, cafeteria plan compliance and administration, and nondiscrimination testing for cafeteria and health plans. She is also the editor of the firm's Employee Benefits Alert.\r\n\r\nRepresentative Experience\r\n\r\nResponsible for advising various employers, consultants, and third-party administrators regarding the impact of the 2010 health care reform legislation on employer-sponsored health plans and health insurance programs.\r\nResponsible for advising a large publicly-traded employer on all aspects of ERISA and Internal Revenue Code compliance, and issues arising in plan administration for self-funded health plan, group insurance plan, and Section 125 flexible benefit plan\r\nResponsible for advising clients regarding welfare and cafeteria plan issues, including COBRA liability, plan termination, and plan continuation, arising in association with corporate mergers and acquisitions, including mergers of not-for-profit entities\r\nRoutinely prepare annual Form 5500 filings for welfare benefit plan sponsors, and advise plan sponsors regarding steps to take to correct missed or incomplete filings, including preparing documents for Department of Labor's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program\r\nRoutinely advise benefit consultants and plan sponsors regarding cost-effective implementation of consumer-driven health care programs, including coordination of health flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement accounts, and health savings accounts in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code, and implementation of wellness programs in compliance with HIPAA's nondiscrimination provisions\r\nServed as general counsel to a third-party administrator of self-funded and multi-employer health plans, advising the client regarding issues related to claims payment and administration, ERISA reporting and disclosure, stop-loss policy coverage, and issues related to general corporate and employment law\r\nAssisted plan sponsor of multiple welfare benefit programs complete a comprehensive health and welfare compliance audit to ensure all aspects of legal compliance\r\n