Benjamin J. Conley


Attorney – Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Ben Conley is an attorney in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.  He focuses his practice on employee benefit plans.  Mr. Conley has experience counseling clients on qualified retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation.

Mr. Conley regularly advises clients on defined benefit and defined contribution plan compliance, including corrections for plan operational errors. He assists clients in drafting plan documents, plan amendments and participant communications. He also advises clients on health & welfare plan compliance, including medical and dental plans, cafeteria plans, flexible spending accounts and dependent care spending accounts. Mr. Conley counsels clients on plan design decisions relating to COBRA, HIPAA privacy regulations and health care reform legislation.

Mr. Conley is a member of the firm’s Health Care Reform Team. This cross-departmental team of lawyers was formed to focus on how health care reform will affect our clients. Mr. Conley started closely following health care reform well before it was passed into law. He regularly consults with governmental agencies on health care reform developments and has submitted comments on health care reform interim regulations on behalf of clients.  Mr. Conley has presented extensively on health care reform and what it means for businesses, including leading the Healthcare Reform Certification Program offered by the Employer Healthcare Congress.

Mr. Conley serves as the editor and primary articles contributor for the Mid American Group Quarterly Benefits Newsletter.  He has written articles concerning health care reform legislation, employer wellness programs, fiduciary responsibilities, claims review procedures and retiree medical benefits.  Prior to joining Seyfarth, Mr. Conley was a lead articles editor for the Washington & Lee University Law Review.


J.D., Washington & Lee University, Order of the Coif (2008)

Lead Articles Editor, Washington & Lee University Law Review; Winner of the 2007 Robert J. Grey, Jr. Negotiations Competition; ABA Regional Negotiations Competition Finalist

B.A., Miami University, summa cum laude (2005)




Chicago Cares

Center for Economic Progress

Miami University Alumni Association

Near North Library Friends Association (Board Member)

Washington and Lee Alumni Association


Co-Author, “Plan Sponsors May Be Able to Issue Fewer SBCs than Originally Expected,” Client Alert (March 2012).

Co-Author, “Essential Health Benefits to Be Defined by ‘Benchmark’ Plans,” Client Alert (March 2012).

Co-Author, “SPD Language, External Review for Self-Insured Health Plans,” Practical Law:  The Journal (March 2012)

Co-Author, “Health Exchanges and Multiemployer Plans — Can They Exist in Harmony?” Benefits Magazine (February 2012)

Author, “Staffing Industry Concerns under the Affordable Care Act,” HR hero E-Zine (February 2012)

Co-Author, “Final Summary of Benefits & Coverage Rule Delays Effective Date, Modifies Requirement,” Client Alert (February 2012)

Co-Author, “Medical Loss Ratio Rebates Expected in August 2012 – Could Constitute Plan Assets,” Client Alert (February 2012)

Co-Author, “Illinois Announces Civil Union Partner Benefits Not Taxable,” Client Alert (February 2012)

Co-Author, “IRS Issues Sample Amendment for PPA Funding-Based Restrictions and Extends Deadline for Amending Plans,” Client Alert (December 2011)

Author, “New W-2 Reporting Requirement,” Melita Group Newsletter, (November 2011)

Co-Author, “Agency Guidance Suggests Delay in Summary of Benefits and Coverage Effective Date,” Client Alert (November 2011)

Editor & Contributing Author, “Mid American Group Quarterly Benefits Newsletter,” Mid American Benefits Group (June 2011 – Present)

Co-Author, “IRS Announces 2012 Inflation-Adjusted Benefit Limits,” Client Alert (October 2011)

Co-Author, “CLASS Act Halted Due to Solvency Concerns,” Client Alert (October 2011)

Co-Author, “New October 14th Deadline for Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice,” Client Alert (September 2011)

Author, “IRS Guidance Makes 2014 Hospitality Employer Health Care Costs More Predictable,” Five Key Labor and Employment Issues Hospitality Employers Need to Be Aware of This Quarter (September 2011)

Co-Author, “IRS Guidance Helps Employers Estimate Play or Pay Penalty,” Client Alert (September 2011)

Co-Author, “Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Advance Notice of Modifications,” Client Alert (August 2011)

Co-Author, “Civil Union Act Requires Insurance Policies to Conform Immediately,” IASB Online Update (June 2011)

Author, “An Employer’s Guide to Health Reform,” Healthcare Reform Law Resource Guide, American Health Lawyers Association (June 2010)

Co-Author, “ERISA Fiduciary and Claims Procedures,” Benefits Compliance – Strategies for Plans, Programs & Policies, M. Lee Smith Publishers, LLC (June 2010)

Author, “Educated Projections Regarding Health Care Reform Legislation,” Benefits & Compensation Law Alert (January 2010) (Revised January 2012)

Co-Author, “Expatriate Arrangements – Are They Deferred Compensation Subject to Code Section 409A?,” Practical Law Company (January 2010)

Co-Author, “Employer Considerations in Reducing Retiree Medical Benefits,” Practical Law Company (October 2009)


“Impact of Health Reform on Agricultural Employers and Small Business Owners,” American Farm Bureau Federation (April 2012)

“Healthcare Preparedness:  Getting Ready for 2014 Today,” Inland Press Association (March 2012)

“Healthcare Reform — The Work is Not Over Yet,” WorldWide Employee Benefits Network (February 2012)

“HSAs:  Passing Fad or Wave of the Future?” Client Webinar (February 2012)

“Healthcare Reform – Updates & Future Outlook,” Melita Group Webinar (January 2012)

“Healthcare Reform Certification Workshop,” Employer Healthcare Congress (October 2011)

“Planning for PPACA – A Panel on Short-term and Long-term Compliance and Planning Concerns,” Employer Healthcare Congress (October 2011)

“Legislative Alert:  Important IL Workers’ Compensation Reform Updates and the Latest Affordable Care Act News,” Assurance University (September 2011)

“Opportunity to Reduce Health Care Costs,” Assurance Agency – Seyfarth Shaw Client Webinar (September 2011)

“Employer Healthcare Reform Disclosure Requirements: Countdown or Meltdown?” WorldWide Employee Benefits Network (August 2011)

“Self-Funding for Group Health Plans:  Opportunities for Employers, Considerations Under PPACA and Other Issues,” Assurance Agency – Seyfarth Shaw Client Webinar (August 2011)

“Health Care Reform:  Understanding Employer Obligations” Melita Group Webinar (March 2011)

“Affordable Care Act Implications for Governmental Plans,” ABA State and Local Government Section, Government Operations Committee (February 2011)

”WEB 2010 Health & Welfare Roundup,” WorldWide Employee Benefits Network (December 2010)

“Benefits Strategy and Health Care Reform,” Northern Virginia Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) (November 2010)

“What Business Owners Must Know About the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” AHLA/PNC Bank (October 2010)

“Health Reform – Six Months Later,” Client Webinar (October 2010)

“Health Care Reform:  What it Means for Public Sector Collective Bargaining,” IPELRA Annual Conference (October 2010)

“Resetting the Benefits Agenda – Employer Challenges under Health Care Reform and Other Benefits Laws for Q4 2010 and 2011,” Client Breakfast Briefing (September 2010)

“Health Care Reform Legislation:  What it Means for Your Business,” Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (April 2010)

“An Employer’s Guide to Health Reform,” Client Webinar (April 2010)

“Attorney Briefing on Health Care Reform Legislation,” Internal Firm Webinar (March 2010)


Quoted in “Businesses Ponder Impact of Health-Care Reform,” Fox Business (March 2012), available at

Quoted in “Health Reform Still Fuzzy to Business Owners,” Daily Journal (April 2011)

Quoted in “What the health care overhaul means for media companies,” Inland Press Association (October 2010), available at

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