News & Analysis as of

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we focus on the EEOC's proposed rules concerning wellness programs. As our colleague, Amy Covert, discusses, a recent change of position by the EEOC provides employers with opportunities...more

EEOC Proposes Regulatory Clarification on the Application of the ADA to Employer Wellness Program Incentives

Action Item: Employers who already have, or are considering implementing, wellness programs that involve cost-sharing reductions or other financial incentives for participants should carefully review their programs given the...more

The ACA’s Toyota tax

For several years now, employers have spent a great deal of time focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) play-or-pay mandate. Numerous articles have been written and numerous educational seminars have been given...more

The Latest on Wellness Programs: EEOC Proposes Rule to Address Legal Hurdles Under the ADA

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that, even if I follow the guidance issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (HIPAA), in implementing a “legally-compliant” wellness program,...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - May 2015 #2

Latest numbers show dramatic post-ACA coverage gains; in California, an increase in dental-related ER visits follows cuts to Medicaid dental benefits; and the Massachusetts governor requests to maintain its definition of...more

What’s Up With Wellness Programs Anyway?

My personal interest in employer wellness programs increased a few months ago when my wife and I were offered significant health insurance premium savings through her employer by participating in such a program. We completed...more

Employment Law Reporter – May 2015

EEOC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Employer Wellness Programs — Some Employers Don’t Feel So Good As a Result. On April 20, 2015, just in time for the summer fitness fads and weight loss challenges, the Equal...more

Mental Health Parity Requirements and Medicaid Plans: CMS Seeks Comment on Proposed Rule

On April 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction...more

EEOC Weighs in on Employer Wellness Programs

Employer-sponsored “wellness programs” have become very popular, and are touted for the potential benefits to employees and employers alike: reduced absenteeism, lowered health care costs, reduced injuries, improved morale...more

Can Employers Refuse to Cover Spouses?

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires employers to cover dependents (meaning children) until they turn 26 years old, or pay a penalty. 42 U.S.C.A. § 300gg-14. However, the ACA does not require employers to cover spouses....more

New Guidance On Wellness Programs

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued proposed new rules clarifying its stance on the interplay between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and employer wellness programs. Officially...more

EEOC Issues Proposed Regulations On Wellness Programs

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially published proposed regulations that provide employers guidance on implementing wellness programs that comply with the Americans with Disabilities...more

EEOC Proposes Rules for Employer Wellness Programs

In response to the increasing cost of providing group health coverage, employers have begun encouraging their employees to participate in wellness programs with the goal of improving overall employee health and reducing...more

Some Good News For Small Employers with Employer Premium Payment Plans

Since the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) was enacted, many employers offered “employer payment plans” to effectively cover employee health insurance plans. Per IRS Notice 2013-54, however, employer payment plans are group...more

EEOC Proposed Rule on Wellness and the Americans with Disabilities Act – What Employers Need to Know

The employer community has been waiting for years to receive guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on wellness programs and how an employer’s obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act intersect...more

Wellness Watch: Guidance Is (Almost) Here

In December 2014, we highlighted the challenges that employers have been facing in ensuring that their wellness programs are not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information...more

Understanding and Managing Compliance with the Affordable Care Act for Schools

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), employers are required to offer healthcare coverage that meets the PPACA’s definitions of “affordable” and “minimum value” to all their full-time employees...more

EEOC Endorses Incentives To Employees For Participation In Qualified Wellness Programs

On April 20, 2015, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued proposed guidance concerning employer wellness programs. The proposed rule would amend the EEOC’s regulations and interpretive...more

EEOC’s Proposed Wellness Regulations Add Burdensome Notice Requirement; Still Prohibit Mandatory HRAs

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations covering wellness programs that involve disability-related inquiries or medical examinations....more

Employer Wellness Programs: Finally (or at Least Potentially) Some Clarity

Late last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its long-anticipated proposed regulations regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employer-sponsored wellness...more

EEOC Proposes New Rule On Wellness Programs

A prior blog post on this site addressed the issue of making sure your company’s wellness program complied with EEOC and ADA restrictions on obtaining health and medical information regarding your employees....more

EEOC Issues Proposed Rules for Wellness Program Compliance Under the ADA

Employer-sponsored wellness programs attempt to control medical costs and improve employee health by incentivizing certain behaviors through medical monitoring, disease prevention strategies and other activities. Over the...more

Hey – That EEOC Wellness Rule Isn’t Half Bad

Is the proposed rule good for employers, or bad? Pretty good overall. The EEOC has, for the most part, proposed that providing “incentives” for employees to participate in wellness programs (both rewards and penalties, which...more

EEOC Issues Proposed ADA Regulations Regarding Wellness Programs

The regulations are a win for employers, but there is still important work to be done during the comment period. On April 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations under the...more

The Big Picture of the Employer Shared Responsibility Tax

Ever since the Treasury Department in early 2014 issued final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax (ESR tax)1 and the related final reporting regulations (ESR regulations)2 under the Patient Protection and...more

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