HR misunderstanding of Benefits Summary Plan Description

Many organizations use a health agent who is still just delivering health quotes and answering employee questions and some basic service functions. It is at this level of vendor relationship that compliance becomes reactive instead of proactive.


One commonly missed item is the Summary Plan Description of commonly known as SPD. Even licensed agents are confused about this and think of this as the same as a “Benefits at a Glance” or BAG document that many health carriers provide, it is not the same. The Summary Benefits Coverage or SBC is yet another document that employers and even agents often confuse with a SPD. Neither of these will meet the ERISA compliance needs and may result in fines of up to $1000 per day.
The good news for employers is that solutions to providing an SPD is not expensive or particularly hard to obtain. Fresh HR can point you to a service where employers can provide these for under a $100 and only have to answer 20 questions.