Wellness Program Update: DOL and IRS Audits and Enforcement Activity, Removal of EEOC Regulations, and Continuing Compliance Challenges

Event ID:69177

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On-Demand (OD)     $299.00
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter: Christine Williams, founder, Health Plan Plain Talk
Price: $299.00, On-Demand 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

Wellness programs are a very common employer-sponsored benefit and are subject to a maze of rules, including regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with important differences between them. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken action against companies offering wellness programs that it claims are not voluntary but also rescinded its 2016 wellness regulations. Adding to the difficulty of designing and administering a compliant wellness program, the DOL has taken enforcement action against employers to challenge wellness programs it considers noncompliant and is auditing wellness programs. Meanwhile, the IRS issued guidance warning that certain wellness program designs that had been heavily promoted could not be offered tax-free. 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.

Please 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 rescission of the EEOC regulations.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • What the DOL wellness program enforcement actions target
  • What the IRS wellness program guidance targets
  • How the wellness program regulations issued by the DOL and the IRS differ
  • The effect of the EEOC’s rescission of its wellness program regulations
  • What constitutes a “voluntary” wellness program under the EEOC regulations
  • How to design a wellness program that complies with the 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
  • Notice requirements for wellness programs


Your conference leader for “Wellness Program Update: DOL and IRS Audits and Enforcement Activity, Removal of EEOC Regulations, and Continuing Compliance Challenges” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams has worked in the employee benefits field since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company, and recently founded HealthPlanPlainTalk.com, an online resource for benefit plan sponsors and employee benefit professionals. 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 Thomson Reuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was 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 benefit plan compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates, and she regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals. Before moving into employee benefits, Ms. Williams was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.


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