News & Analysis as of

Colleges/Universities Granted Extended Relief for Premium Reductions in Connection with Student Health Insurance

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) on Friday extended enforcement relief, via publication of FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 33 (“FAQs”),...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

What is Telemedicine? A Cool Benefit or a Hot Mess?

We’ve had numerous inquiries lately about telemedicine benefits. My clients most typically ask either “is this a group health plan?” or “is it just access to another provider?” Clearly, there is much confusion surrounding...more

Anti-Kickback Regs Near Approval, After Only 19 Years

The White House is reviewing proposed regulations to ease restrictions on certain financial arrangements between hospitals and physicians and on certain transactions between providers and patients. The proposed regulations,...more

EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs; Clarifies Position on Incentive Caps, Confidentiality and ADA’s “Safe...

On May 16, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued two final rules regarding employer wellness plans, the first to amend existing regulations under the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act...more

The Increasingly Complex Law of Wellness Program Incentives

Case Study. A manufacturer wants to promote better health among its workforce by implementing a wellness program. Trying to keep it simple, the employer tells employees that they will receive a $50 per month credit toward...more

New ACA Guidance Warrants Another "Checkup" of Employer Health Plans

On December 16, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (the "Notice"), which provides "question-and-answer" guidance regarding how various Affordable Care Act (the "ACA") provisions apply to employer-provided group health plans....more

Health Care E-Note - January 2016

The 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule ("Final Rule") contains recent changes to the Federal Stark Law, the majority of which took effect on January 1, 2016. The issuance of the Final Rule on November 16, 2015...more

Further Guidance on ACA Market Reforms

Following up on the issuance of final regulations on various market reform provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IRS has issued a notice with Questions and Answers that take a more detailed look at specific ACA...more

Health Care and the ACA: IRS Formalizes Position on Opt-Out Payments

On December 16, 2015, the IRS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Labor issued Notice 2015-87, which provides guidance on the application of various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 20 of 24): Reporting Affordability on Form...

Affordability—i.e., whether health coverage is “affordable”—occupies an important place in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) regulatory scheme. Under that law’s individual mandate, no penalties are imposed for failure to...more

Skeletons in the Closet? Beware of Potential Enforcement Actions

With Halloween looming, a discussion of skeletons that may be lurking in a health care provider’s closet is timely. Many of our previous posts, as well as the monthly Qui Tam Updates published by our Health Care Enforcement...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 15 of 24): Coding Form 1095-C, Part II for...

As we noted in a previous post, the recently issued final 2015 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C changed certain of the rules relating to the reporting for offers of COBRA coverage where the COBRA qualifying event...more

OIG Alert Shows Increased Concern over Data Blocking

In a report to Congress last April, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Technology addressed the growing issue of data blocking. Data blocking occurs when some person or entity knowingly and unreasonably...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 13 of 24): Coding Form 1095-C, Part II for...

Compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility rules requires that applicable large employers identify their full-time employees. A “full-time employee” for this purpose is an employee who...more

ACA Compliance Requirements and Opportunities for the Small Employer

Small employers should be aware of certain changes and continuing small employer opportunities relating to the Affordable Care Act (aka, ObamaCare). Starting in 2016, the ACA expands the small group market to include...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2015

Editor's Overview - It has been a little more than one year since the U.S. Supreme Court altered the legal landscape for litigating ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to the investment in employer stock...more

The (Poorly Named) “Cadillac Tax” Part Two: IRS Provides Further Guidance in Notice 2015-52

The so-called “Cadillac Tax” (Internal Revenue Code Section 4980I) applies starting in 2018 and was intended to provide a means to address what were perceived as overly rich employer-provided health benefit plan designs, as...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 6 of 24): Reporting Group Health Plan Opt-Out...

Under a common strategy for controlling group health care plan costs, employers sometimes adopt arrangements under which an employee is offered cash as an incentive to waive coverage. These arrangements are colloquially...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - FDA Denies Amgen Citizen Petition in Biosimilar Dispute [Audio]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Amgen Inc.’s request that biosimilars makers be forced to share their applications and manufacturing processes with competitors, exacerbating the company’s recent defeat in...more

Recent Favorable IRS Guidance for Tax-Exempt Bond Financed Facilities

The IRS has released guidance in three areas of interest to entities that benefit from tax-exempt bond financings, particularly hospitals and educational institutions. This guidance creates new rules related to management...more

Monthly Benefits Update - November 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of ACA Case Involving Premium Subsidies Offered Through Federally Facilitated Exchanges - The Supreme Court granted review in King v. Burwell, a Fourth Circuit case that upheld an IRS...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

Don't Forget! Preparing for the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate

With 2015 just a few weeks away, employers with 100 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees should be gearing up for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer mandate, which subjects...more

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