Employers depend on Ashley for the creation and ongoing maintenance of health and welfare and retirement plans and programs as well as for daily advice on how to navigate unique challenges encountered while administering those plans.

Overview

Ashley provides clients with easy to understand explanations of the complex statutory and regulatory framework surrounding employee benefit plans so clients can make informed decisions that best serve their employees and business objectives.  She helps clients create, review, maintain and administer employee benefit plans and programs that comply with the wide array of laws affecting employers and the benefits offered to their employees. She assists clients navigate the sometimes arduous requirements within ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, HIPAA, COBRA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Medicare.

Ashley offers a wide variety of benefits-related services from the maintenance of a broad range of health and welfare and retirement plans, SPDs, and required notices to HIPAA workforce training and Affordable Care Act compliance. She also assists clients in the review of existing plans and third-party service agreements and with reporting and disclosure requirements. Ashley is thorough and detail-oriented, and has won her clients’ trust by spotting regulatory errors within plan documents and other agreements provided to clients by national issuers. Ashley has served small and large public and private companies, universities, governmental entities, energy co-ops, insurers, and benefit plan service providers.

Experience

Ashley assists with Form 1095-C Employer Shared Responsibility reporting and with responses to IRS penalty assessments regarding minimum essential coverage and has helped clients reduce tax penalty liability by identifying common reporting errors.

She has also advised employers on how to prevent, prepare for, respond to and report data breaches under HIPAA, and she offers on-site or remote HIPAA workforce training tailored to her client’s specific business.

Ashley assists her clients with implementing employee wellness plans that comply with the ADA, GINA and HIPAA.

She counsels clients on the many implications of the Affordable Care Act, including Section 1557’s health coverage mandate for gender identity and transition-related health coverage and with the contraceptive mandate.

On behalf of a client’s retirement plan administrator, Ashley regularly reviews qualified domestic relations orders for plan compliance and communicates on the plan’s behalf with plan participants and alternate payees.

She conducts benefits-related due diligence and develops benefit programs for acquired employees in stock, asset, and membership interest deals ranging from $3 million to $1 billion.

Ashley also represents employers, insurers and administrators with health plan, HSA, HRA and flexible spending benefit compliance as well as with the creation of regulatory compliant products. She drafts “big picture” policy memoranda outlining the likelihood of product compliance and litigation trends.

Ashley counsels clients with collectively bargained employees on multiemployer plan and trust issues as well as withdrawal liability.

She also conducts controlled group analyses and assists with MEWA reporting requirements and has recently worked with DOL officials to resolve a client’s reporting failure without any monetary liability.

As pro bono service, Ashley assists military veterans apply for military discharge upgrades by completing necessary paperwork, fact-finding and drafting briefs in support. She has also assisted with edits to amici briefs affecting national veteran benefit issues.

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

“Employee Benefits Update,” St. Louis New Challenges for HR in 2018, January 2018

“Employee Benefits Update,” ST. Louis New Challenges for HR in 2017, January 2017

Admissions

  • Missouri, 2013

Education

University of Missouri, J.D., cum laude, 2013 

  • Missouri Law Review, Editor in Chief 
  • Order of Barristers 

Missouri State University, B.A., English Literature, summa cum laude with distinction, 2010 

  • Missouri State University Board of Governors, Student Governor (appointed by Gov. Nixon) 
  • Presidential Scholar 
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