Norbert F. Kugele

Partner | nkugele@wnj.com | V-Card | Profile PDF Grand RapidsT 616.752.2186F 616.222.2186 Norbert specializes in employee benefits and privacy and information security law. His employee benefits work focuses on health and welfare benefits and the administrative issues associated with them, including COBRA, HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act. Norbert is also a privacy expert who helps organizations understand and comply with state, federal and international privacy and information security laws, including HIPAA, FTC consumer privacy requirements and breach... Read More
Norbert specializes in employee benefits and privacy and information security law. His employee benefits work focuses on health and welfare benefits and the administrative issues associated with them, including COBRA, HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act. Norbert is also a privacy expert who helps organizations understand and comply with state, federal and international privacy and information security laws, including HIPAA, FTC consumer privacy requirements and breach notification laws. He counsels organizations on responding to security breach incidents, develops privacy policies, and counsels companies on the European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection and U.S.-European Safe Harbor Framework. Norbert is a frequent speaker at seminars and author of articles on employee benefits and privacy issues. and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/US with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
  • Experience
  • Biography
  • News
  • Publications
  • Leadership
  • Speaking Engagements

Experience

  • Helps employers understand and comply with Health Care Reform requirements
  • Works with employers in developing summary plan descriptions and other disclosure documents to effectively communicate benefits and disclosures required under ERISA
  • Conducts nondiscrimination testing for health plans, cafeteria plans, dependent care flexible spending arrangements and group life insurance plans, and advises on plan design strategies to achieve compliance with nondiscrimination requirements
  • Helps employers implement high-deductible health plans, including plans featuring Health Reimbursements Accounts (HRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Negotiates administrative services agreements between plan sponsors and third-party administrators
  • Assists employers and insurers with complex COBRA issues
  • Develops HIPAA privacy and security policies for self-funded health plans
  • Advises insurers on HIPAA privacy and security issues
  • Counsels private and publicly held corporations on executive compensation and severance issues for compliance with Tax Code Sections 409A and 280G
  • Counsels organizations on responding to security breach incidents
  • Represents community hospitals in responding to subpoenas and administrative requests for medical records
  • Develops privacy policies for Internet web sites
  • Counsels companies on European Commission's Directive on Data Protection and U.S.-European Safe Harbor Framework
  • Assists companies with social media policies
  • Serves on American Bar Association committees preparing comments to federal agencies on Health Care Reform and HIPAA regulations

Industries

Practices

Education

  • University of Illinois J.D. 1992 magna cum laude
  • University of Oregon B.A. 1983 Economics

Admitted

  • 1992, Michigan

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2013-2014
  • Named to Michigan Super Lawyers, 2010-Present
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Harno Fellow
  • Order of the Coif
  • Note and Comment Editor, University of Illinois Law Review, 1991-92

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
    Health Law Section; Intellectual Property Law Section; Labor and Employment Law Section
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Labor and Employment Law Section; Taxation Section; Computer Law Section
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association

Publications

  • Norbert has authored numerous articles on HIPAA privacy and security issues, structuring of wellness programs, tax code compliance problems for executive compensation arrangements, and electronic delivery of benefit disclosure documents
  • Norbert has also been quoted in articles published in the Grand Rapids Press, the Grand Rapids Business Journal, MIBizWest, the Washington Post and the World Peace Herald

Blog Posts

Professional Affiliations

  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
    Health Care and Human Resources Committee; Chair of Subcommittee on HSAs (2008)
  • Catholic Lawyers of West Michigan

Community Affiliations

  • Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
    Health & Human Resources Committee

Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent speaker at in-house, firm-sponsored and professional association seminars on Health Care Reform, HIPAA privacy and security compliance, COBRA administration, executive compensation and ERISA compliance issues
  • "Health Care Reform Update," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, April 22, 2014, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “HR and Benefits Executive Panel,” WNJ Human Resources Seminar, October 9, 2013, Midland, Michigan and October 15, 2013, Birmingham, Michigan
  • "How Does the Historic DOMA Decision Impact Employers?," Michigan Chamber of Commerce Webinar, August 28, 2013
  • "What the DOMA Decision means for Employers," The Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) On-Demand Seminar, July 19, 2013
  • "HR Privacy and Security Strategies," May 21, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Health Care Reform Update" and "What's New with HIPAA?," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, April 29, 2013, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "HR Privacy and Security Strategies," March 14, 2013, Birmingham, Michigan
  • "Reporting Costs of Health Insurance on Employee W-2s: New Requirements," Strafford Webinar, Dec. 20, 2012
  • "Recent Legislative Updates for Health and Welfare Plans," West Michigan Chapter of International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Nov. 15, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Recent Developments in HIPAA Privacy and Security," Michigan Osteopathic Practice Manager Program, Nov. 3, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Health and Welfare Benefits:  An Update," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, May 2, 2012, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Are You Ready for W-2 Reporting of the Cost of Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage?," WNJ Webinar, January 31, 2012
  • "Employee Benefits Webinar Series: Health Care Reform Webinar," WNJ Webinar, September 28, 2011
  • "Does HIPAA Keep You Up At Night?," WNJ Seminar, September 20, 2011
  • "What's Next for Health Care Reform?" and "HIPAA: Avoiding Costly Mistakes," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, May 25, 2011, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Health Care Reform Webinar: Nondiscrimination Testing and Other Recent Updates," WNJ Webinar, November 9, 2010
  • "Health Care Reform Update: Grandfathered Plans," WNJ Webinar, July 14, 2010
  • "Health Care Reform Update," WNJ Webinar, April 21 and June 2, 2010
  • "Health Plan Check-Up: The Basics" and "HIPAA Basic Training for Health & Welfare Plan Administrators," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, March 23, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "COBRA Subsidy Extension: What This Means For You," WNJ Webinar, January 27, 2010
  • "The New HIPAA Amendments: What It Means for You," program cosponsored with Apec Applied Security in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 19, 2009
  • "The New COBRA Subsidy Requirements," program on March 26, 2009, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "New COBRA Requirements: Economic Stimulus Program Requires Quick Action," program on March 3, 2009, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and on March 5, 2009, Southfield, Michigan 
  • "Red Flag Compliance: Protecting Yourself and Your Patients From Identity Theft," program on March 18, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Time to Shape Up Your Cafeteria Plan," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, September 11, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Hot Fringe Benefits Issues," WNJ Human Resources Seminar, September 11, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • "Does Your Cafeteria Plan Need Updating?," January 9, 2008, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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