The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigated a Las Vegas, Nevada, employer who failed to forward employee contributions to the carrier providing the employer sponsored employee health insurance plan. The employer continued to deduct the employee contributions from employee paychecks. The employer did not timely forward those contributions to the insurance carrier; nor did the employer make any payment to the carrier. This resulted in a retroactive termination of the group health insurance plan.
As background, ERISA requires private employer plan sponsors, as an ERISA fiduciary, to operate the group health plan in the best interest of participants and beneficiaries. Plan assets, including employee contributions, must be used exclusively to provide plan benefits. The employer cannot profit from the plan.
The US District Court for the District of Nevada approved a default judgement against the employer requiring them to pay $99,807 to former participants and beneficiaries. This amount included outstanding medical claims and the employee contributions. Further, the employer’s former president is permanently barred from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA health benefits plan.
Source: NFP BenefitsPartners