With the growing emergence of complex rules and changing regulations, the government is conducting an unprecedented number of employer audits. These checks are resulting in significant numbers of violations and fines. Do not be caught in this expensive trap.

Department Of Labor (DOL) Audits

A DOL audit is triggered for a variety of reasons, and in most cases, the employer will not know why its health plan was selected. The targeting techniques use various sources of information to identify the projects considered to have the highest potential for violations. Source of information include reports required under ERISA such as the plan’s 5500 report. Information obtained from other government agencies such as the IRS and state insurance regulators, newspapers, and trade journals.

An audit of health and welfare plans by the Department of Labor (DOL) can be a trying experience for any business. This stress can be particularly amplified when you have been striving to keep your health and welfare plans up-to-date with the full requirements of the existing laws, as well as the frequent deluge of requirements mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The breadth of requirements creates many opportunities for errors to occur. While each DOL audit can request different information, proper SPDs (Summary Plan Descriptions) and plan documents are always relevant and will almost certainly be scrutinized.

We recommend that all plan sponsors of health care benefit plans periodically conduct internal audits of their benefits programs, so they are prepared for unexpected audits. If you receive a letter from the DOL announcing their intention to visit your office, do not delay! The first step to successfully surviving an audit is knowing what to expect and being prepared.

Because of increased audit activity from the DOL, Strategic Benefit Solutions has developed a toolkit to provide you an understanding of what a DOL audit looks like -from the initial DOL audit letter to self-compliance tools to sample response letters. If you receive an audit notice, please contact your benefits consultant at Strategic Benefit Solutions immediately for support.