Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans

News & Analysis as of

Avoiding COBRA’s Bite: Measures to Counter COBRA Class Actions

With the filing of a class action complaint in late 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. became the latest large company accused of failing to provide adequate notices as...more

Raising the Bar to a Perfect Score: Corporate Equality Index to Look for Expanded Health Benefits as Measure of LGBT Workplace...

Employers looking for strong scores on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) in coming years may have to make some unexpected changes to their health benefit programs. Benefit programs are one key component of CEI ratings,...more

Looking Forward/Looking Backward – Day 1 Notes from the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference

A large amount of wind, much discussion about the U.S healthcare, and the public getting soaked again – if you were thinking about Washington, DC and the new Congress, you’re 3,000 miles away from the action. This is the week...more

New Law Enables Small Employers to Resume Health Reimbursement Arrangements

One of the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act had been the elimination of health reimbursement arrangements as a tool for small employers to avoid the complexities of maintaining a group health plan and the...more

Cures Act Lets Small Employers Reiumburse Premiums

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which allows small employers to maintain health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for the purpose of reimbursing employees for the cost of...more

Court Rejects AARP’s Request to Block EEOC’s Final Wellness Rules -- Wellness Rules Took Effect as Scheduled on January 1, 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued final regulations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) with respect to employer-wellness...more

Key 2017 Legal Changes that Employers and Federal Contractors Must Know About

Ready or not, 2017 is upon us and with it come many regulatory changes and important deadlines for employers and individuals. Make sure your New Year’s resolutions include compliance with the following changes and deadlines...more

QSEHRAs: End-of-Year Legislation Provides a New Health Care Option for Small Employers

Tucked at the end of the recently enacted 300-plus-page 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) is a provision that offers certain small employers a new opportunity to help employees purchase individual market major medical...more

21st Century Cures Act Permits Standalone HRAs for Small Employers

The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13, permits small employers to offer standalone health reimbursement arrangements that may reimburse individual market insurance premiums, among other...more

Small Employers Have New Health Reimbursement Option Under Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2016, contains a smorgasbord of health-related provisions, from reforming federal mental health policies to increasing funding for medical...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2016

This month Richard Zall, Chair of Proskauer's Health Care Department, explores developments likely to occur with respect to the Affordable Care Act as a result of the new administration. In our Rulings, Filings and...more

Delaware Healthcare Industry Update

House Bill 439, sponsored by Representative Bryon Short and Senator Patricia Blevins, addresses the situation of “surprise” bills. That is, the situation when a patient seeks and receives care, and is unaware that the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - November 2016

This month we review a recent Second Circuit decision addressing ERISA plan status as a class member in a securities shareholder class action. As discussed in the article, the decision exposes a potential conflict among the...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List: Health & Welfare

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

Guidance Addresses Mental Health Parity

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers that, among other things, implement certain of the recommendations included in a report...more

Medical Marijuana’s Impact on Employers

Ohio’s medical marijuana law went into effect on September 8, 2016. Under the new law, Ohio citizens who suffer from one or more specific illnesses or conditions can receive a note and “recommendation” from a doctor allowing...more

Religious Institutions Update: October 2016

Timely Topics - The final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on May...more

AARP Files Suit to Block the EEOC’s Final Rules on Employee Wellness Programs

As we have previously discussed in detail in several blogs (New EEOC Regulations Provide Roadmap for Wellness Programs; EEOC Issues Final Rules On Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program Compliance Under the ADA and GINA; and...more

Reminder: Employers Must Use Extreme Caution When Considering Reimbursing an Employee’s Individual Health Insurance Premium

In follow up to IRS Notices 2013-54 and 2015-17, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has issued 4 information letters thus far in 2016 regarding employer reimbursement of employee individual health insurance premiums and related...more

Navigating the Winding Highway of Wellness Program Compliance - Part I: A GPS for the EEOC’s Wellness Program Rules

The road to health plan compliance has never been straight and narrow, but it has become more winding over the years, due in large part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The road to compliance just became even more difficult...more

The Road to Higher Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs is Paved with Good Intentions: The Unintended Consequences of High Deductible...

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are among the fastest growing health plans in both the individual and group markets. For calendar year 2017, the IRS defines an HDHP as any health plan with a minimum deductible of $1300...more

The Latest Win for Wellness Programs May Be More of a Win for the EEOC

Although the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin held that the employer wellness program at issue in EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems did not violate the ADA, the EEOC may find much it likes in this court’s...more

[Webinar] 28th Annual Employee Benefits Seminar - September 21st, 8:20am Central / 9:20am Eastern

Program Highlights Please join the Locke Lord Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group for our 28th annual employee benefits seminar via webinar.  Our attorneys will provide an overview of current developments...more

Cybersecurity and the Role of ERISA Fiduciaries

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), protects plan participant benefits and account balances by imposing high standards of care on the plan’s fiduciaries. Fiduciaries who do not follow...more

[Webinar] Hot Topics in Welfare Benefits - September 20th, 12:00pm CST

Ever since the passage of health care reform, the applicable government agencies (IRS, DOL, EEOC and HHS) have been actively working to provide new and updated regulations and other guidance governing various aspects of...more

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