Wellness programs are a very common employer-sponsored health benefit and are subject to a maze of rules, including regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with important differences among the various regulations. Adding to the difficulty of designing and administering a compliant wellness program, in 2017 the DOL undertook surprising new enforcement efforts against employers to challenge wellness programs it considered noncompliant, the IRS issued guidance warning that certain wellness program designs that had been heavily promoted could not be offered tax-free, and the EEOC was ordered by a court to reconsider its wellness regulations. In the face of the many compliance challenges, employers may need to review the design and administration of their wellness programs to ensure compliance and to avoid being the next target of agency enforcement efforts.
Join Christine Williams, founder of Health Plan Plain Talk, as she reviews the regulations governing wellness programs, the recent enforcement activity by the IRS and DOL, and the questions surrounding the review of the EEOC regulations.
Just a sampling of what will be covered:
- What the new DOL wellness program enforcement actions target
- What the new IRS wellness program guidance targets
- The timeline for the EEOC’s review of its wellness program regulations
- How the wellness program regulations issued by the DOL, IRS, and EEOC differ
- How to design a wellness program that complies with all three sets of regulations
- How HIPAA and other privacy and confidentiality regulations affect wellness programs
- How permissible wellness program incentives are calculated
- When the regulations requiring reasonable alternative methods of obtaining wellness program incentives apply
- What constitutes a “voluntary” wellness program under the EEOC regulations
- Notice requirements for wellness programs
- And much more!
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