Dawn E. Sellstrom



Dawn Sellstrom focuses her employee benefits practice on health and welfare benefits. Dawn advises employers on health and welfare benefits of all types, and on compliance under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Internal Revenue Code, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and related federal and state laws and regulations. She has significant experience assisting employers with health care reform strategy and compliance, consumer-driven health care arrangements, and health and welfare plan governance, including plan design and fiduciary responsibilities.

Health Care Reform

Dawn works closely with clients to develop a practical, strategic approach to Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, designs medical plans and their administration to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate and market reforms, and counsels employers on ACA disclosure and reporting requirements.

Consumer-Driven Health Care

Dawn designs consumer driven health arrangements, including high-deductible health plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and wellness programs. She advises on wellness program compliance under various laws that can apply, such as the HIPAA nondiscrimination rules, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and the Internal Revenue Code.

Health and Welfare Plan Design, Administration and Compliance

Dawn works on all aspects of plan design, administration and compliance, including documentation, for health and welfare benefits of all types, including health, prescription drug, dental, vision, retiree medical benefits, health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, life insurance, disability insurance, wellness programs, telemedicine, on-site health clinics and employee assistance programs. This includes coordination with employers’ cafeteria plans and employees’ pre-tax elections, flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts. Dawn has experience with complex issues under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, the HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and Medicare Secondary Payer rules. Dawn advises on contracting with third-party administrators and vendors.

Dawn advises employers on plan design and plan administration governance structures, and has experience establishing and operating plan administration fiduciary committees and training plan fiduciaries. Dawn has designed comprehensive compliance reviews for health and welfare benefit plans, and represented plans in matters before the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.

Other Experience

Dawn also advises clients regarding qualified retirement plan design, administration, technical compliance and fiduciary issues, and on deferred compensation. Dawn has served as counsel to a multiemployer pension fund and a health and welfare fund.


Bar Admissions



Loyola University Chicago School of Law
J.D. (1993)

Northwestern University
B.A. (1988)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Firm Blog Contributions

  • LaborSphere – a resource providing coverage and insights on breaking cases, recently enacted legislation and a broad range of labor issues
  • Spotlight on Benefits – a blog offering practical insight on legal developments which impact benefit plans
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