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Haynes and Boone, LLP

Kirsten H. Garcia

Kirsten H. Garcia

Counsel

Haynes and Boone, LLP
Texas, U.S.A.

tel: +1 214 651 5171
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Profile
Kirsten Garcia has extensive experience advising employers on state and federal laws affecting a wide variety of health and welfare plans, wellness programs, retirement plans, and executive compensation arrangements. Kirsten advises clients on compliance matters involving ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, ACA, COBRA, HIPAA, MHPAEA, and other federal and state laws, assists employers with correction of operational or documentation failures, including working through the DOL and IRS VFCP and EPCRS correction programs, and provides guidance through government investigations and audits.

Kirsten is a “go-to” adviser for clients and colleagues regarding all aspects of the ACA, such as strategizing management of employer penalty risk and negotiating vendor agreements to avoid employer penalties with respect to contract labor. Kirsten also provides guidance and compliance strategies to clients in all other aspects of the health and welfare area, including drafting plan documentation, summary plan descriptions, and disclosures, reviewing and negotiating service provider plan documents, benefits booklets, and administrative services agreements, implementing HIPAA compliance programs and conducting employee training, implementing and supporting MEWAs, representation during audits and investigations by the DOL or HHS, assistance with reporting obligations, and correction of HIPAA breaches and COBRA compliance failures.

Kirsten’s extensive experience has made her a frequent speaker and writer on issues affecting employee benefit plans. Her speaking engagements include the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists DFW and Houston Chapters, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network – Dallas Chapter, Employment Law Updates sponsored by the Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio Chambers of Commerce, and the Dallas Bar Association Employee Benefits / Executive Compensation Section. The articles she has authored have appeared in the New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, The Practical Tax Lawyer, Dallas Business Journal, and Fort Worth Business Press. Every other month, she presents a legislative update at the DFW ISCEBS Chapter meeting.


Education

  • J.D., The University of Texas, 2006with honors
  • B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 2001 magna cum laude
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Advising clients regarding operations, reporting and disclosure compliance with the federal and state laws governing employee benefit plans, including drafting required documentation and conducting employee training. Such federal laws include:

Internal Revenue Code
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Assisting clients with correction of plan failures through the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System issued by the Internal Revenue Service and the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program issued by the United States Department of Labor.

Advising clients regarding attorney client privilege issues in employee benefits practice.

Advising clients with benefits issues arising in corporate transactions.

Assisting schools and non-federal governmental entities with the operations, reporting and disclosure compliance of their employee benefit plans.

Assisting clients with establishing and operating Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Associations and associated employee welfare benefit plans.

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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