Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

Participants Sue Wellness Program

in Court Cases, Welfare Benefits, Wellness Programs

Last week a federal district court in Florida certified a class action against Broward County Florida’s health plan.  The class action alleges that the plan’s wellness program violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by charging employees a $20 bi-weekly surcharge for not participating in a wellness program.  The wellness program required biometric testing (glucose and cholesterol) and completion of an online health risk assessment.  If participants did not complete the testing and health risk assessment, participants were charged a $20 bi-weekly surcharge.  While these kinds of programs are allowed under HIPAA and ERISA (subject to certain requirements), the EEOC has been mostly… Continue Reading

Illinois Civil Unions

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Effective June 1, 2011, both same gender and opposite gender civil unions are permitted in Illinois.  A link to the bill – SB 1716 – is appended below.  It’s time to dust off those domestic partner and marriage policies for health plans. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SB/PDF/09600SB1716enr.pdf

Revised Red Flags Rule

in Cafeteria Plans, Welfare Benefits

This week President Obama signed revised red flags rule legislation designed to exempt professionals and “other service providers” from the FTC Red Flags Rule.  It is unclear if this new legislation will change its application to health FSAs and HRAs that utilize debit cards.  The FTC website indicates that it is updating its guidance and will update the website when that process is complete.  In the interim, you can review the application of the Red Flags Rule for employee benefits, by reviewing our Legal Alert:  http://bit.ly/i5YOSm

Transit Benefit Extension Approved

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

Last night the House approved the extension of the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits. President Obama is expected to sign the bill today or tomorrow. The bill includes an extension of the transit-parking parity rules for another year. Thus, for 2011 the parking and the mass transit limit will now be $230 per month. The extension of the parity rules begins to apply January 1, 2011. See, Section 727 of the attached bill:  http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_satohr4853_txt.pdf

Transit Benefit Extension

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

The current transit benefit of $230 per month expires at the end of this month, and the transit benefit reverts back to its prior limit of $120 per month. The legislation to extend the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits is currently being drafted in the Senate. This legislation also extends the increased transit benefit of $230 per month through December 31, 2011. The legislation is expected to be voted on in the Senate early next week, and thereafter addressed by the House.