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 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.

He is admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana.
Reported and Representative Cases
  • Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty v. Indiana Insurance, 729 N.E.2d 117 (Ind. 2000)
  • Wine-Settergren v. Lamey, 716 N.E.2d 381 (Ind. 1999)
Firm Publications
Ice Miller News
Ice Miller Blog
Published In
  • "Fee litigation hits higher education," published in the Daily Herald Business Ledger, Sept. 22, 2016
  • "Is There a Doctor In the House?" Indianapolis Business Journal, Feb. 4, 2008
  • "The Indiana Network for Patient Care: A Case Study of a Successful Healthcare Data Sharing Agreement," American Bar Association Health Law Section eSource, September 2005
  • "HIPAA is Here: Has Your County Started Yet?" Indiana News 92, March/April 2003
  • "USERRA - Protecting Employees' Rights," The Wyoming Banker, January 2002
  • "USERRA - Protecting Employees' Rights," Hoosier Banker, November 2002
Speaking Engagements
  • "Qualification Standards for Public Sector Plans," American Academy of Actuaries, Enrolled Actuaries Meetiing, April 3, 2017
  • "ACA Update and Other Health and Welfare Plan Developments," Indiana Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, 2017 Spring Education Conference, March 9, 2017
  • "The Trump Agenda: Impact on Public Funds, Possible Paths for Health Care and the Affordable Care Act," National Association of Public Pension Attorneys 2017 Winter Conference, February 22, 2017
  • "ACA Update and Other Health and Welfare Plan Developments," P2F2 2016 Annual Conference, October 26, 2016
  • "Health Plan Affinity Group – Key Issues in Health Care Today," National Association of Public Pension Attorneys 2016 Legal Education Conference, June 23, 2016
  • "Health and Welfare Seminar," Central Indiana Chapter – ISCEBS, May 11, 2016
  • "Went to DC and They Taxed My Cadillac," National Association of Public Pension Attorneys 2016 Winter Conference, February 18, 2016
  • "2015 Health Plan Update," Public Pension Financial Forum 12th Annual Conference, October 28, 2015
  • "What is Hot in the Benefits World," 2015 HR Indiana Annual Conference, August 25, 2015
  • "Affordable Care Act Update," Indiana Chamber of Commerce/Indiana Human Resources Update, August 13, 2015
  • "Confused About the Affordable Care Act?," Indiana Association of Cities and Towns IMPACT Annual Conference, August 5, 2015
  • "Essential Health Benefits Discussion," National Conference of Insurance Legislators, July 16, 2015
  • "EEOC Wellness Rules," Indiana State Council of the Society of Human Resource Management Conference, June 29, 2015
  • "Employee Benefits," Ice Miller Executive Briefing: 2015 Employment Trends for Indiana, June 16, 2015
  • "Employee Benefits," Ice Miller Executive Briefing: 2015 Employment Trends for Illinois, January 29, 2015
  • "Employer Shared Responsibility and Reporting under Health Care Reform," 2015 American Mold Builders Association Annual Conference, May 6-8, 2015
  • "Employee Benefits in 2015: Challenges and Changes," Indiana Chamber of Commerce 51st Annual HR Conference and Expo, April 28, 2015
  • "Health Care Reform Update," Indiana Chamber of Commerce, October 30, 2014
  • "Employee Benefits Update," ISHHRA 2014 Fall Education Conference, October 17, 2014
  • "Health Care Implementation: A Compliance Update," Government Finance Officers Association, September 17, 2014
  • "Coordinating the Moving Parts: Update on ACA Requirements," Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference: The Future of Government Finance, May 18, 2014
  • "Welfare Benefit Programs," American Benefits Council, August 28, 2014
  • "Health Care Reform: Employer Obligations and Opportunities Under the Final Employer Penalty Regulation," Indiana Chamber PPACA Seminar, April 16, 2014
  • "Legal Aspects of Health Reform (PPACA)," Indiana Workplace Wellness Partnership, April 11, 2014
  • "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Latest Regulations and Administrative Guidance," Indiana School Boards Association, November 1, 2013
  • "Preparing for 2014: Employer Responsibilities Under the Affordable Care Act," 2013 Employee Health and Wellness Summit, September 30, 2013
  • "Preparing for 2014: Employer Responsibilities Under the Affordable Care Act," Indiana Chamber of Commerce Health Care Reform Seminar, August 23, 2013
  • "Health Care Reform – What's Looming in 2013-2014," Indiana School Boards Association Summer Academy, July 8, 2013
  • "Health Care Reform – What's Looming in 2013-2014," Lafayette-West Lafayette Employers Health Forum, June 24, 2013
  • "Health Care Reform: Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Opportunity," Indiana Chamber of Commerce HR Conference, May 6, 2013
  • "Employer Responsibilities Under Health Care Reform," Tri-State Business Group on Health, March 12, 2013
  • "Employer Responsibilities Under Health Care Reform," Indiana Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration, March 8, 2013
  • "Employer Responsibilities Under Health Care Reform," Ice Miller LLP & Indiana Chamber of Commerce, January 29, 2013
  • "Helping Employers with Compliance in a Post-PPACA World," ABA Emerging Issues in Health Care Law, February 22, 2013
  • "Moving Forward with Health Care Reform," Government Finance Officers Association Teleconference, January 31, 2013
  •  "Implementing the New Health Reform Law: What Governmental Employees Need to Know," 104th Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference, June 8, 2010
  • "What Will The Administration Do Through Regulation Now That Health Care Reform Has Passed," American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, 2010 Government Invitational Conference, April 8, 2010
  • "Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law," American Bar Association Health Law Section's Conference, February 18, 2010
  • Health Care Reform, Mechanical Contractors Association of American National Collective Bargaining Conference, October 30, 2009
  • "Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop,"American Bar Association Health Law Section Council Annual Meeting, April 23, 2009
  • "Using Deferred Compensation to Incent On-Call Coverage," American Bar Association Health Law Section Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, February 18-20, 2009
  • "Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop," American Bar Association Health Law Section Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, February 18-20, 2009
  • "Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop" and "What Employers Need to Know About Implementing Employee Wellness Plans" and "New EEOC Regulations on Age Discrimination in Retiree Health Care," Health Law Section Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, February 20-22, 2008
  • "The Pension Protection Act and Defined Contribution Plans -- What You Need To Do Now," Health Law Section Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Interest Group Webinar, April 26, 2007
  • "The Pension Protection Act and Defined Contribution Plans -- What You Need To Do Now (in 25 Minutes or Less)," Health Law Section Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, February 21-23, 2007
  • Moderator, "How Do Complex and Detailed Regulations Impact Benefits?" American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and American Law Institute on Certified Public Accounts, 2006 Government Invitational Conference, March 29-31, 2006
  • "Medicare Part D: Where We Are So Far," American Bar Association Health Law Section Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference, February 22-24, 2006
View Full Site View Mobile Optimized