HIPAA and HITECH: Different, Yet Dependent

Until 2009, most employers had little to worry about complying with the privacy standards of HIPAA, short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects the confidentiality of individuals’ health records. Even if employers contracted as business associates with healthcare providers and other similar entities, they were exempt from following HIPAA regulations because they […]

Moving Toward PPACA Compliance: Guidance for the Transition

The time is now for employers to make adjustments with major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), set to go in motion by the end of 2013. Assuming it does not change, to get ready for the new law, you should: 1. Plan to provide insurance to all of your staff in 2014 […]

The Supreme Court and the Defense of Marriage Act

During the last week of March, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor. DOMA is a federal law that defines marriage for the purposes of “any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative […]

What Do the Final Regulations Addressing Employee Wellness Programs Mean?

The IRS, DOL, and HHS (the Departments) have jointly issued final regulations addressing employee wellness programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  These final regulations modify the proposed wellness regulations that were issued in November 2012.  The final regulations apply to insured and self-insured group health plans (both grandfathered and non-grandfathered) effective for plan years beginning on or after […]