Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

California Prohibits Employers from Requiring Out-of-State Litigation and Arbitration

in Employment Laws, Welfare Benefits

On September 25, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law a new state statute that, in most instances, prohibits agreements requiring California-based employees to litigate or arbitrate their California-based employment-related claims in other states. The new statute, which will apply to contracts entered into, modified, or extended on or after January 1, 2017, applies generally to agreements with employees who primarily reside or work in California.  Please see our Legal Alert for more details.

Largest Health and Human Services HIPAA Settlement Wake-Up Call for Covered Entities

in Welfare Benefits

Breaking News: Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement in history involving a single entity responsible for several potential HIPAA violations.  If you are interested in learning more about this settlement, please click here and read this legal alert.

Significantly More Information to Be Collected Under the Proposed Form 5500

in Welfare Benefits

Extensive changes to the annual information return for employee benefit plans are being proposed and can be found here.  If adopted, the changes would be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.  The revisions affecting pension plans, and details regarding changes to Schedules H and I that affect funded plans (such as those with VEBAs), are not addressed here.  With respect to group health plans, the main changes would include: Eliminating the exemption for unfunded welfare plans with under 100 participants Small fully-insured plans would have to file a return, but would be exempt from many… Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Two Final Rules Regarding Employer Wellness Programs

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits, Wellness Programs

The EEOC issued two final rules today relating to wellness programs, as well as questions and answers, explaining how the ADA and Title II of GINA apply to employer wellness programs that request information from employees and their spouses.  These guidelines provide welcome direction to employers who have faced some uncertainty as to whether they could provide incentives for spouses who participate in their wellness programs and whether their wellness programs comply with the ADA. Here are links to these rules; more detailed information about the requirements of these new rules will be provided shortly. GINA Final Rules:  These FAQs… Continue Reading

Revised SBCs Finalized (for use on or after April 2017)

in Welfare Benefits

Recently, we summarized the proposed revisions to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage template.  This week, the agencies issued the final SBCs and related documents that must be used beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after April 1, 2017 with respect to coverage for plan years beginning on or after that date.  In other words, for calendar year plans, these revised forms must be used during the open enrollment associated with the 2018 plan year. The final SBC template is substantially the same as the proposed form.  There are some changes… Continue Reading