News & Analysis as of

Curing What Ails You – Relief for Small Employer HRAs

The impact of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) on health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”) has not been favorable. Many employers got rid of their HRAs or integrated them with a major medical plan in order to avoid...more

Small Employers Can Ring In The New Year With A Brand New Health Reimbursement Arrangement Benefit

On December 13, 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act (the Act) was signed into law. It allows small employers to offer stand-alone qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs) to employees who have...more

EEOC v. Flambeau, Judicial Restraint, and the (Uncertain) Future of Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

On January 25, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued it much-anticipated decision in EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc. This case involved the regulation of employer-sponsored wellness plans and programs. Since 2006, the rules...more

Employment and Benefits Advisory: 2017 Reminders and Developments

New Relief for Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements - As mentioned in prior advisories, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury have taken the position that employers cannot reimburse...more

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Healthcare Options Following the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act and the Eventual Repeal of Obamacare - Overview - The presidential inauguration has come and gone. The House and Senate are already clearing the...more

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze...more

Recent Legislation Offers Small Employers a New HRA Option

A health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is a funding arrangement under which employers fund health care expenses for their employees on a pre-tax basis. Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HRAs were popular among small...more

2016/2017 Labor & Employment Observer

Activist NLRB Created More Problems For All Employers in 2016 - What Happens Under President Trump? During 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) maintained its generally pro-union, anti-employer...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

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

Back from the Dead – Cures Act Resurrects Premium Reimbursement Arrangements for Small Employers

Last week, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Cures Act”), which contains numerous provisions touching on a wide range of public health matters. Among the provisions is the creation of a new health...more

21st Century Cures Act: Small Employer Changes under the Affordable Care Act

President Obama has signed the 21st Century Cures Act, Pub. L. No. 114-225 (Dec. 13, 2016). As we previously mentioned, the new legislation permits small employers (those that are not considered applicable large employers...more

Basics of New Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA)

The Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), part of the 21st Century Cures Act signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 13, 2016, makes available to small employers a new option to...more

New Law Permits Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) For Small Employers

On December 13, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. The law had been approved with bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 392 to 26 and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5. The law addresses...more

Congress Passed the 21st Century Cures Act

Congress has passed, and President Obama is expected to sign the 21st Century Cures Act, H.R. 34. Among other things, the new legislation will permit small employers (those that are not considered applicable large employers...more

Rejoice: The Return of Premium-Reimbursement Plans for Small Employers

Last week Congress passed H.R. 34, which will exempt certain health reimbursement arrangements ("HRA"), including premium-reimbursement plans, from most Affordable Care Act requirements for small employers (i.e. those...more

21st Century Cures: Congress Enacts Medicare Advantage and Small Business Insurance Market Reforms

The 21st Century Cures Act encourages biomedical research investment and facilitates innovation review and approval processes, but also serves as a vehicle for a wide variety of other health-related measures, including...more

District Court Decision Upholds Employer’s Wellness Program But Signals Support for EEOC Positions Going Forward

In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected the EEOC’s claims that Orion Energy’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Although the court upheld the...more

Half a Loaf: Court Rejects ADA "Safe Harbor" But Approves Pre-Regulations Wellness Program as "Voluntary"

The EEOC’s attack on employee wellness programs as unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that began in 2014 with three lawsuits, and continued with...more

ACA Reporting – Multiple Coverage and Requesting SSNs

Newly proposed IRS regulations seek to clarify certain aspects of reporting of minimum essential coverage by employers and issuers under Code Section 6055. Here, we focus on proposals that impact employer reporting (Part III...more

EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs

With the final rules, the EEOC tried to harmonize, to some extent, its new regulations with the existing HIPAA/ACA regulations. On May 17, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued long-awaited...more

EEOC Issues Final Rules Under ADA and GINA on Wellness Programs

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued two final rules May 16, 2016 that guide employers on the manner with which their wellness programs that ask health-related questions and/or require participants to...more

EEOC Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs: What Employers Need to Know

Increasingly, more employers are offering workplace wellness programs to promote and encourage healthier lifestyles for their employees and to prevent disease. These programs often involve medical questionnaires, health risk...more

Labor & Employment Advisory: ADA, GINA Wellness Regs Now Final

Yesterday, the EEOC issued its final regulations providing guidance on wellness program incentives under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The ADA regulations address...more

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