ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Provisions Affect Group Health Plans
On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination in health care programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Notably, this rule expands on prior civil rights law to prohibit sex discrimination in health care.
Form 5500 Proposed Changes
The US Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued a “Proposed Revision of Annual Information Returns/Reports” that would make changes to the Form 5500. If adopted, the proposed changes will be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019 (filings due in 2020).
DOL Penalties Increase
In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the “Inflation Adjustment Act”) to direct federal agencies to adjust the civil monetary penalties for inflation every year. Civil penalties ensure compliance with federal regulation by incentivizing employers not to violate federal regulation and providing federal agencies the power to ensure compliance.
FAQ Suggests Employers Include Marketplace Options with COBRA Notices
On June 21, 2016, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued the 32nd Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) FAQ describing information that may be appropriate to include with COBRA notices.
EEOC Issues Model Notice for Wellness Programs
New rules published on May 17, 2016 under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) provide a helpful roadmap to designing an incentive-based wellness program that will not run afoul of the ADA’s general rule that employers are prohibited from requiring medical exams or asking disabilityrelated inquiries unless job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Health Reform Calculators
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