Understanding Employee Benefits and key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. MORE

The EEOC has been bringing lawsuits against employers challenging wellness programs. A recent case involved a company that had previously provided a credit to employees enrolled in the health plan who participated in a health risk assessment (HRA) and biometric screenings. The company had eliminated the credit and instead conditioned health plan enrollment on participation

On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance premiums toward corporate and personal use. The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Facts:

Faribault Woolen Mills (the

The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2016 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts, which are largely unchanged from the 2015 numbers. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/IR-15-118.pdf.  The following chart summarizes the 2016 retirement plan limits and other benefit plan limits.  The 2015 limits are

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA) requires health plans to treat mental health and physical health benefits in much the same manner and precludes restrictions on mental health benefits that are not also found to apply to physical health benefits. The regulations enforcing those provisions are technical and complicated. A recent Second

The United States Supreme Court recently held in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits individuals to receive health insurance premium subsidies through federally-facilitated exchanges (in addition to state-based exchanges). Because this decision is consistent with existing agency interpretation, the decision has little direct effect on employer-sponsored group insurance plans.

In the

The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an employer’s current employee benefits plan, certain provisions may need to be changed in light of this ruling.

For those employers who already provide spousal benefits to same sex

My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidance from the EEOC reiterated that compliance with HIPAA requirements for wellness