Christopher S. Sears is a Partner in the Employee Benefits Group at Ice Miller LLP. He concentrates his practice in the field of health care and employee benefits. He assists clients design and maintain health and retirement plans and other employee benefits. He also works with clients in their efforts to protect the privacy of health information pursuant to HIPAA and to share information through regional health information networks. He works with public and private employees, including governmental plans at all levels, hospitals, and other tax-exempt organizations.
Mr. Sears helps clients design employer-sponsored health plans and other benefits such as cafeteria plans, tuition reimbursement plans, long and short term disability plans, health reimbursement accounts, health savings accounts, and life insurance plans. He also helps them comply with myriad of laws that regulate these plans such as ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, HIPAA, ADA, FMLA, and COBRA. Mr. Sears is currently focusing on the health reform requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and assisting clients in the compliance efforts. Chris also concentrates on laws regulating the privacy of health information. In particular, he works closely with both health plans and health care providers in their efforts to comply with the complex privacy rules of HIPAA, as well as state privacy laws. He also consults with clients to adopt, maintain and terminate their employee pension and retirement plans in compliance with the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. In doing so, he assists clients with their 403(b) and 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements (including those under Code Section 457(b)).
Chris is a frequent writer and speaker on employee benefit issues. He joined Ice Miller in 1994 after graduating from the Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, cum laude. While attending the Indiana University School of Law, Chris was a member of the Indiana Law Journal. He did his undergraduate work at Indiana University, Bloomington, earning his bachelor of arts degree in political science and history in 1990. He is a former Chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Interest Group of the American Bar Association Health Law Section. He has also served as a member of the American Bar Association's Joint Committee on Employee Benefits from 2008-2013, and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Employee Benefits) every year since 2009.