EBIA Employee Benefits Seminars

Redesigned for 2018, our seminar line-up now includes a new half-day course on wellness program design and administration! With so much happening in the benefits arena, this is the perfect opportunity to update your knowledge or send your team for a comprehensive training experience.

Learn from experienced industry leaders at seminars designed for benefits professionals such as human resource and benefits managers, plan sponsors, TPAs, insurance professionals, attorneys, accountants and government officials who work with employee benefits.

Backed by the authority of the EBIA Compliance Library, EBIA Seminars provide intermediate-level coverage of key employee benefits topics.
Group discount pricing is available: All additional registrants for the same event (order placed at same time) will receive a 10% group discount! Does not apply to prior purchases.

Seminar Recordings
We bring EBIA employee benefits seminars to you. Recordings of 2018 seminars will become available in summer of 2018.




ERISA Compliance for Health and Welfare Plans: Plan Documents, Fiduciary Rules and More

8:00 a.m. – Registration/Coffee/Danish
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

ERISA imposes a whole system of rules for employer health plans, and a vocabulary to go along with it. The risk of fiduciary liability—and co-fiduciary liability—means plan sponsors, service providers, and their advisors need to be fluent in ERISA’s statutory and regulatory provisions, and keep up with evolving case law. This course delivers the guidance you need to comply with ERISA’s rules affecting plan documentation, reporting and disclosure, fiduciary responsibilities, third-party administration, and claims and appeals. Topics include:

  • What Benefits Are Subject to ERISA? Are you offering ERISA benefits without knowing it? How to identify when benefits (including “voluntary” benefits) are subject to ERISA. Includes an overview of ERISA’s preemption of state law, and when it applies.
  • Plan Documents and SPDs. Satisfying content and format rules; penalties for noncompliance.
  • Fiduciary Duties. Who’s an ERISA fiduciary, implications of fiduciary status, and issues for plan sponsors and service providers when outsourcing plan administration.
  • Benefit Claims. Claim, appeal, and external review rules, plus implications for benefits litigation.
  • How Plans Pay Benefits and Why It Matters. ERISA’s “exclusive benefit” and trust rules, including the special rules for participant contributions.
  • Reporting and recordkeeping. Form 5500, summary annual reports (SARs), and best practices for record retention.
NASBA Continuing Professional Education Information for Accountants: Sponsor: Checkpoint Learning
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: General knowledge of employee benefit plans
CPE Credits: 4
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Instructional Delivery Method: Group Live
Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to—
  • Explain the types of plans and plan sponsors to which ERISA applies, and when ERISA preempts state law
  • Describe ERISA’s requirements relating to plan documents, SPDs, and reporting
  • Identify who is an ERISA fiduciary, distinguish between fiduciary and “settlor” functions, and describe what ERISA’s fiduciary duties generally entail and their implications for plan service-provider relationships
  • Explain the ERISA implications of a plan’s funding status and benefit payment processes


The Affordable Care Act: Compliance Strategies for Employer Plans

12:30 p.m. — Registration
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The ACA continues to impose compliance obligations for employer-sponsored health plans—in the midst of sometimes conflicting policy positions announced by the Trump Administration. What changes may be wrought through regulatory activity? And how can plan sponsors, administrators, and advisors keep their plans on track? Topics covered will include:

  • Which Plans Must Comply? Includes updated analyses of the rules for excepted benefits, grandfathered plans, governmental and church plans, and expatriate plans.
  • Plan Design Considerations. Strategies for addressing the ACA’s plan design requirements (including the preventive care mandate, prohibitions on preexisting condition exclusions, out-of-pocket maximum limits, and annual/lifetime dollar-limit prohibitions) for various plan types.
  • Plan Administration Rules, Fees, and Taxes. Includes updates on employer shared responsibility penalties and Form 1094/1095 reporting, required notices and disclosures, claims and appeals rules, Form W-2 reporting, and PCOR fees.
  • Looking Ahead. What changes may be on the horizon?


Cafeteria Plans: Designing, Documenting and Administering (full day)

8:00 a.m. – Registration/Coffee/Danish
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Who can establish a cafeteria plan, what benefits can it include, and how must it be administered to comply with the Internal Revenue Code and regulations? Everything you need to know about establishing, contributing to, and administering cafeteria plans. Topics include:

  • Types of Cafeteria Plans and How They Work. Premium payment and salary reduction designs, including health FSAs, DCAPs, flex credit plans, and “simple” cafeteria plans.
  • What Benefits Can Be Offered? Includes issues raised by premium reimbursement accounts, COBRA, and the ACA.
  • Contributions and Cash-Outs. Salary reductions, types of employer contributions, maximum contribution amounts, and other funding issues.
  • Election Timing and Mechanics. Includes negative elections, automatic enrollment, and midyear election-change rules, with practical examples.
  • Nondiscrimination Rules. Overview of the rules and noncompliance consequences for cafeteria plans, health FSAs, and DCAPs.
  • Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (Health FSAs). Uniform coverage and use-or-lose rules, grace periods and carryovers, annual limit on salary reductions, expense reimbursements (including claims substantiation and adjudication, and debit card programs), plus selected ACA, COBRA, ERISA and HIPAA issues.
  • Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs). Permitted expenses and plan administration issues.
  • Administering and Amending a Plan. Includes reporting and disclosure requirements for cafeteria plans, health FSAs, and DCAPs.


HRAs & HSAs: What Employers and Advisors Need to Know

8:00 a.m. – Registration/Coffee/Danish
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

We’ll walk you through the potential advantages—and compliance challenges—of implementing and maintaining health reimbursement arrangements and workplace health savings account programs, with practical tips for employers, service providers, and advisors. Topics include:

  • Overview. Introduces HSAs and HRAs, and how they fit into a consumer-driven health care approach.
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Essential elements, funding restrictions, expense reimbursement rules, claim substantiation and adjudication, integration and other ACA issues, HIPAA and COBRA compliance, and interaction with health FSAs and HSAs. Plus an expanded discussion of qualified small employer HRAs (QSEHRAs).
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Who can have an HSA, what qualifies as high-deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage, and what other coverage is compatible with HSA eligibility? Also includes contribution limits, rules for tax-free expense reimbursement, tax consequences of employer contributions, nondiscrimination and reporting rules, ERISA and COBRA implications, and interaction with HRAs, health FSAs, and cafeteria plans.
  • Putting it All Together, and Looking Ahead: How to choose the account-based arrangement that best suits an employer’s needs. Plus, what HRA and HSA improvements may be on the horizon?


NEW! Designing and Administering Employee Wellness Programs: Legal Rules and Practical Strategies

12:30 p.m. – Registration
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Wellness programs take many forms, from informal sessions on nutrition or fitness to more comprehensive programs involving biometric tests and disease-management counseling. Programs may offer a wide range of rewards or penalties, from T-shirts to gift cards to significant discounts on health plan premiums—and the legal requirements vary just as widely. We’ll help employers, administrators, and advisors navigate the overlapping laws and evolving regulations and court decisions that govern these programs.

  • Overview of Wellness Program Designs. Wellness programs take many forms; examples and impact of “group health plan” status.
  • HIPAA and ACA Health Status Nondiscrimination Rules. Participatory versus health-contingent, including “reasonable alternative standard” requirement, incentive limits, and special rules for tobacco-related programs.
  • ADA Wellness Rules. EEOC final rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for incentives under “voluntary” wellness programs, including related case law and legislative proposals.
  • GINA Implications. Highlights restrictions under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that may affect wellness programs designs that involve medical questionnaires often referred to as health risk assessments.
  • Administrative challenges. Includes reporting, disclosure, and confidentiality requirements, plus interaction with health FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs.
  • Tax Implications. Income tax treatment of wellness program rewards, plus IRS guidance on “double-dipping” schemes marketed as wellness programs.


HIPAA Privacy and Security: Rules and Best Practices for Employer Health Plans and Business Associates

8:00 a.m. – Registration/Coffee/Danish
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon

With ransomware attacks and other data breaches on the rise, and technology challenges around every corner, health plans and their business associates and advisors need to understand the legal rules and the latest risks. Couple this course with your entity-specific policies and practices, and you’re on your way to satisfying HIPAA’s workforce training requirements. Topics include:

  • Which Entities, and What Types of Information, Does HIPAA Regulate? Includes identifying HIPAA “covered entities” and “business associates” in the employer health plan context, the role of the employer plan sponsor, and what is—and is not—“protected health information” (PHI).
  • Privacy: Use & Disclosure Rules and Individual Rights. Includes disclosures to plan sponsors, business associates, friends and family, and others. Also covers individuals’ access to their own PHI and other rights, drafting and distributing the notice of privacy practices, and creating and implementing privacy policies and procedures.
  • Security: Standards & Specifications. Reviews the regulatory structure, including administrative, physical, technical, and organizational standards. Includes practical tips—drawn from enforcement activity and case studies—for addressing the all-important risk analysis and risk management plan.
  • Breach Notification. How to determine whether an incident amounts to a "breach," who must be notified and when, and the importance of preparedness in responding to potential breaches.
  • Business Associate Contracts. Includes required and advisable elements, latest guidance on cloud computing and similar services, and business associate subcontracting.
  • HIPAA Enforcement. Lessons learned from OCR enforcement activity—including audits, resolution agreements, and penalty assessments.


COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans: Challenges, Checklists, and Charms

12:30 p.m. – Registration
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

We’ll guide you through the legal rules and the mechanics of COBRA notices, elections, duration, and interaction with other laws. Topics include:

  • When COBRA Applies. Employers and plans subject to COBRA, consequences of noncompliance, and when and to whom COBRA must be offered (qualifying events and qualified beneficiaries).
  • COBRA Notices and Disclosures. Timing and content requirements for the initial notice and SPD disclosure, notice of qualifying event, election notice, and notice of unavailability.
  • COBRA Elections and Premiums. How qualified beneficiaries may elect COBRA, and what coverage they may elect. Includes issues of multiple plans, open enrollment, and the effect of COBRA election on Marketplace coverage eligibility. Also explains calculation of the applicable premium, payment deadlines, and issues relating to late payment.
  • Duration of Coverage. Detailed examples illustrate the basic COBRA coverage periods, extensions, and early termination of COBRA, with discussion of required COBRA termination notices.
  • Special Issues for Health FSAs and HRAs. Which health FSAs qualify for a limited COBRA obligation (including treatment of carryovers), plus how to determine coverage and premium amounts.
  • Survey of Recent Case Law. Lessons learned from an array of recent court decisions applying the COBRA rules.

See what your colleagues are saying about EBIA Seminars from Checkpoint Learning

“It is difficult to find quality seminars on these types of topics. The best CLE I have been to in 20+ years.”
— Attorney, OH.

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— Program Specialist, WA.

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— Controller, OR.

“The most professional, well-run, informative seminar I’ve attended.”

“EBIA is the best in its area of expertise.”

Find out more about our Seminar Instructors.

Benefits seminars backed by the EBIA compliance library

EBIA seminars provide intermediate coverage of the compliance requirements for benefit plan design and administration, including late-breaking developments. All backed by in-depth EBIA compliance manuals and the EBIA Weekly newsletter.

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For Continuing Education information click here.

You can make a substitution for the same location and course at any time without penalty. If you need to cancel there is a $100 cancellation fee when you give us at least 10 business days notice. If you give less than 10 business days notice, your tuition is forfeited.



1. Choose your location and dates

2. Select your topics

3. Register Online below
    or call 800.231.1860.


Boston • May 8-11
Offices of Thomson Reuters
26 Thomson Place
Boston, MA 02210
Register Online

Minneapolis, MN • May 15-18
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
7025 Northland Drive N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
Register Online

Seattle, WA • June 5-8
Sheraton Bellevue Hotel
100 112th Avenue NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Register Online

Dallas, TX • June 12-15
Offices of Thomson Reuters
2395 Midway Rd.
Carrolton, TX 75006
Register Online

Chicago, IL • June 19-22
The 311 South Wacker Conference Center
311 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Register Online

Your Office (Recorded)
2018 recordings will be available in summer of 2018.

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