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What Is An Employee Welfare Benefit Plan?

ERISA states that an employer who provides certain benefits to employees such as medical insurance and other coverage is considered to have created an "employee welfare plan."

Only a few exceptions apply. Employers must comply with ERISA when providing welfare benefits for their employees. This applies regardless of employer size or number of employees. It does not matter if the benefits are paid by the employer or the employees. Learn more about erisa wrap plan document via

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Different types of employer welfare benefit plans. These benefits are known as "employee welfare plan plans" under ERISA and are provided by employers:

  • Plans for vision, medical, and dental insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts for health (also called health care reimbursement accounts)
  • Prescription drug plans;
  • Insurance plans for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Plans for long-term and short term disability;
  • Group term life insurance policies

Written Plan Document

An employee welfare plan under ERISA requires a written plan document that contains all terms and conditions. A written contract of insurance with a company is not required to contain all the rules of ERISA. It therefore does not constitute a plan document.

A well-drafted plan document usually specifies eligibility requirements, plan participation rules, and the coverage length.

What is a wrap document'? 

A "wrap" is a document that can be used to add to existing documentation. A wrap document, or "wrapping" around an insurance policy or similar third party contract, provides the required information under ERISA.

The insurance contract or policy remains part of the plan document even if a wrap document has been used. The "wrap" document along with the contract or insurance policy together make up the entire plan document.