Melanie K. Curtice
Melanie Curtice is the managing partner of the Seattle office. She concentrates her employee benefits practice primarily on health and welfare benefit plan matters and the tax, ERISA, HIPAA and other compliance issues that arise in connection with such arrangements, and works with public and private companies and governmental employers.
Melanie was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the first governing board of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange, a new health insurance marketplace that will be available to individuals and small businesses beginning in January 2014.
- Drafting and establishing employee benefit plans for health, dental, life, disability, severance, fringe and other benefits, ensuring compliance with ERISA, HIPAA, the Internal Revenue Code ("Code"), COBRA and other applicable laws to minimize the risk of agency penalties and benefit claims by participants.
- Establishing and maintaining compliance with legal requirements related to cafeteria plans.
- Analyzing, consulting and advising employers concerning maintenance of health and welfare plan documents drafted by insurance companies, third-party administrators and others.
- Assisting with planning related to self-funded welfare plans utilizing Code section 501(c)(9)(VEBA) trust arrangements, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts.
- Analyzing and assisting with establishing policies and procedures to maintain compliance with HIPAA, COBRA, ERISA and other applicable laws relating to health and welfare benefit plans.
- Conducting health and welfare plan audits.
Professional Honors & Activities
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law), 2012-2013
- Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Washington) by Chambers USA (currently: Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation), 2010-2012
- Selected as one of Washington's "Rising Stars" by Washington Law & Politics magazine
- Faculty Scholar Award, 1998, End of Year Scholar, 1996-1997, Student Commencement Speaker, Seattle University School of Law
- Section leader, Stoel Rives Employee Benefits practice group, 2005-2009
- Member, Washington State Bar Association
- Board of Directors, president, 2005-2009, other board positions, 2001-2005, Western Pension & Benefits Conference, Seattle Chapter
- Founding member, Advisory Committee, Seattle Journal of Social Justice
- Chair, Women's Legal Resource Project, 1995-1998
- ""Navigating Health Care Exchanges: A Guide for Employers," Western Benefits Conference, July, 2013
- "Health Care Reform: Preparing for 2014," Stoel Rives LLP, May, 2013
- Panelist, "Exchange Board Plan for 2014," State of Reform Washington Health Policy Conference, Jan. 2013
- "Health Care Reform: Group Health Plan Update 2012," Stoel Rives LLP, Oct. 2012
- "Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs," Health Worksite Summit, 2008-2012
- "Consumer-Driven Healthcare," EBIA Speaker, 2005-2012
- "Health Care Reform: Group Health Plan Update 2011," Stoel Rives LLP, Sept. 2011
- "Health Care Reform: Implications for Employers and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans," Stoel Rives LLP, June 2010
- "Your Local Forecast," Stoel Rives Employment Law Seminar, Oct. 2006
- "The Benefits Aspects of Preparing for Disasters: The Legal Landscape Following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma," Employee Benefits Planning Association, 2006
- "COBRA Compliance," Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Annual Meeting, 2005
- "HIPAA Privacy: An Employer's 'How To' Guide for Group Health Plans," 2002-2004
- "HSAs: What are They?," 2004
- "HIPAA Privacy and Security: Compliance Update," Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Seattle Chapter, 2004
- "Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Compliance in Washington," NBI, Inc., 2003
- "New Health Plan Guidance: Over-the-Counter Drugs and Health Savings Accounts," Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Seattle Chapter, 2003 Technical Session
- "Human Resource Audits in Idaho," Lorman Education Services, 2001
- "Employment and Benefits Rights Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)," Western Pension and Benefits Conference, Seattle Chapter, 2001
- Board of Trustees, ArtsFund, 2009 to present
- Board of Directors, Arthritis Foundation, 2002-2004
- Board of Directors, Employers' Health Purchasing Co-op, 2002-2009
- Board of Directors, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Seattle, 1995-1996
- Board of Directors, Pasadena Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, 1990-1992
- Chair, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Health Services Committee, 1990-1992
- Contributing author, Consumer-Driven Healthcare & Fringe Benefits Manual (published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America)
- "Every Category of Provider: Hindsight is 20/20 Vision," Seattle University Law Review
- Seattle University School of Law, J.D., 1998, cum laude
Executive Articles Editor, Seattle University Law Review
Moot Court Board
Order of the Barristers
- California State Polytechnic University, B.A., Political Science, 1990, cum laude
Print to Word