News & Analysis as of

Are Wellness Programs Worth It?

Please see Chart below....more

Proceed With Caution: Does HIPAA Apply to Your Business?

Even if your business is not in the health care industry, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as updated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH...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

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

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

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on workplace wellness programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued guidance on “HIPAA Privacy and Security and Workplace Wellness Programs.” The guidance helps employers determine whether or not the health information it may...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

Multiple Departments Issue Guidance on Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made headlines during the second half of 2014 by attacking employers' wellness programs that require employees to undergo certain medical testing or be penalized....more

Wellness Programs: Agencies Issue Helpful Guidance but Look Before You Leap

Recent studies indicate that wellness programs significantly improve the health of workers. If only it were so easy to implement a wellness program . . . As explained in our July 17, 2013 Benefits Update – Final...more

HIPAA Breach Affects Many Western New York School Districts

Recently, a national BlueCross BlueShield affiliate, Anthem, Inc., discovered that its information technology systems was hacked. The information believed to have been accessed includes names, member ID numbers, dates of...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - February 2015

Health & Wellness Plans - Anthem Data Breach Requires Plan Sponsor Attention - On January 29, 2015, Anthem Inc., one of the largest managed health care companies in the country, disclosed that the sensitive...more

Five Health Care Developments Important to Employers

Perhaps never before have employers faced so many challenges when it comes to health care issues affecting their workforce. Congress may try to amend the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The Supreme Court of the United States is...more

FAQs by Employers Regarding the Anthem Breach

Do we have any legal obligations under HIPAA? It depends on your contractual relationship with Anthem and whether the group health plan offered by your company is self-insured. If your company’s group health plan is...more

Agencies Green Light Pilot Program to Allow Limited Wrap-Around Coverage for Health Insurance Policies Purchased on an Exchange

Under proposed rules recently issued by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and HHS, employers may participate in a pilot program where they offer certain wraparound coverage as an “excepted benefit” to part-time employees,...more

A Quick Look at Healthcare Issues Expected to Make News in 2015

As we look into our crystal balls, we do not expect a lot of new issues in 2015. Rather, we believe that most of the significant issues will be a continuation of issues that arose in 2014 or earlier. ...more

Legal Alert: Ring in the New Year with New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Requirements for 2015

On December 30, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking modifying the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) final regulations issued in 2012. In...more

Excepted Benefits: Final regulations provide guidance on dental, vision and employee assistance plans

The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) have recently published final regulations related to when limited scope dental and vision benefits and employee assistance programs...more

No Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions Means HIPAA Certificates No Longer Required

Earlier this year, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a final rule implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and revising the requirements of other healthcare laws and regulations...more

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: Final Regulations on the PPACA’s 90-Day Waiting Period Released

On February 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly released...more

New Wellness Program Rules for 2014

Employers continue to look for ways to manage the cost of employee health care coverage as they navigate the turbulent waters of healthcare reform, and wellness programs continue to be a popular strategy. However, adoption...more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on Employee Benefit Plans — Some Certainty, Many Unanswered Questions

The regulation of marriage was historically presumed to be the exclusive domain of the states. Since 1996, however, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (“DOMA”) changed this presumption in two important respects...more

HIPAA Healthcare Reform - Prompt Attention Needed to Address Upcoming 2013 Deadlines

2013 has already been a busy year for employers with group health plans who are trying to navigate the Affordable Care Act and its immediate implications for employee benefits. However, there are other, less talked about but...more

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