The DOL has issued two new FAQs regarding wellness benefits that reflect the EEOC proposed rules. The first question addresses what it means for a health contingent program to be “reasonably designed” to promote health or prevent disease. Programs that collect sensitive health information without providing assistance to modify behavior (such as stopping smoking, managing diabetes, losing weight) may fail to meet the requirement of improving health or preventing disease and may be...Continue Reading
The EEOC has released a proposed rule discussing the requirements for a wellness program to be “voluntary” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although these requirements impose additional disclosure requirements than are required for nondiscriminatory wellness programs under HIPAA, having guidance is welcome news in light of the recent cases challenging wellness programs as involuntary under the ADA. Briefly, the ADA prohibits discrimination by employers against...Continue Reading
On April 14, 2015, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which sets forth its long anticipated proposal broadening the reach of the fiduciary standard under ERISA to cover more investment advice relationships. The proposed regulations are intended to better address the current retirement environment which reflects a dramatic shift to self-directed IRAs and 401(k) plans from the traditional pension plans of the past. In 2010, DOL had initially issued...Continue Reading
The Agencies announced yesterday (click here for release) that the SBC final regulations will be published soon and will apply to plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2016. However, the updated SBC templates will not be available until 2016, meaning that they won't apply until plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
While this is welcome news and it means that SBC templates will not have to be updated for this year's open enrollment - it doesn't necessarily mean that there...Continue Reading
In late 2013, the Agencies published additional proposed regulations with respect to excepted benefits. The 2013 proposed regulations proposed to – simplify the exception for limited-scope vision and dental benefits, set forth criteria under which employee assistance programs (EAPs) would be excepted benefits, and allow in limited circumstances coverage that wraps around certain individual health insurance coverage as excepted benefits. After the Agencies considered comments received...Continue Reading