Wellness Program Compliance Challenges: Rules Under ERISA, HIPAA, ADA, GINA, and the ACA Require New Attention to Design and Administration

Event ID:15926

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DL Only                 $349.00 includes DL and materials
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter: Christine Williams, senior counsel in the Tax, Benefits & Compensation practice of Perkins Coie LLP
Price: $349.00, DL includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
CE Credits: This program has been approved for 1.5 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. This program is valid for 1.5 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.
Who Should Attend? HR, employee benefits, financial officers, in-house counsel, and CEOs

The wellness program compliance landscape has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Under the HIPAA/ACA wellness nondiscrimination rules that took effect in 2014, many new requirements were added and new options for incentives were made available. In 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that should prompt plan sponsors to review their wellness programs for compliance with the EEOC guidance and, perhaps, revise their programs. Unfortunately, the new EEOC regulations do not always allow the same wellness program designs as the HIPAA/ACA regulations, and sometimes apply to programs that might not be recognized as wellness programs under ERISA, HIPAA, and the ACA. Complying with all of the requirements of the various regulatory agencies can be challenging and requires careful design and administration of wellness programs in order to avoid compliance missteps and penalties.

Join Christine Williams, senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP, as she reviews the new EEOC regulations, compares them to the HIPAA regulations, and highlights areas that may require change.


Just a sampling of what will be covered:

  • How do the EEOC regulations define a voluntary wellness program and how is that broader than the HIPAA/ACA regulations?
  • How do the EEOC regulations differ from the HIPAA regulations?
  • What are the differences between the maximum permissible incentives under the EEOC regulations and the HIPAA/ACA regulations, and can a wellness program be designed to comply with both?
  • How are incentives for spouses of employees handled?
  • How do the regulations affect smoking cessation incentives?
  • What notice requirements apply under the various regulations?
  • What confidentiality and privacy requirements apply to wellness programs?


Your conference leader for “Wellness Program Compliance Challenges: Rules Under ERISA, HIPAA, ADA, GINA, and the ACA Require New Attention to Design and Administration” is Christine Williams. Christine is senior counsel in the Tax, Benefits & Compensation practice at Perkins Coie LLP. She has worked in the employee benefits area since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security, published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of ThomsonReuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was also a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, and compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates. She regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals, and before moving into employee benefits Ms. Williams was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and a visiting associate professor at New England School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.


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