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Seyfarth Synopsis: Following years of back and forth, new final rules were published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 6, 2024 reinstituting the Department’s interpretation that the prohibition on discrimination by health programs and activities “on the basis of sex” includes treatments for gender-affirming care. In this post, we explore

On Wednesday, May 22, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Employee Benefits partners Ben Conley and Diane Dygert will present “The Final Rule: 1557 Nondiscrimination Rule and LGBTQ Protections under the Civil Rights Act of 1964” as part of a webinar for The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC).

Diane and Ben will lead a discussion on the Department

This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: This past Monday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final rule aimed at strengthening the HIPAA Privacy rules as they are applied to reproductive health data.

On the heels of the release of the 2022 US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Biden Administration directed the Federal agencies to examine what they could do to protect women’s health and privacy. Shortly thereafter, HHS released guidance under HIPAA related to reproductive health care services under a health plan, focusing on information required to be disclosed by law, for law enforcement purposes, and to avert a serious threat to health or safety (see our earlier Alert here). Then, in April 2023, HHS issued proposed modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule aimed at these concerns. A year later, the agency finalized those rules on April 22, 2024 – the Final Rule.Continue Reading HHS Strengthens HIPAA Rules to Protect Reproductive Health Privacy

Seyfarth Synopsis: The agencies have finalized a portion of their proposed rules impacting so-called “junk insurance” regarding short-term limited-duration insurance, but deferred finalizing the more significant changes that would have impacted most fixed indemnity policies. 

In early April 2024, the Treasury Department, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “agencies”) issued final rules regarding short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI). Avid readers of this blog may recall our earlier post on the proposed rules, found here, which impacted STLDI as well as other issues surrounding excepted benefits. The new final rules primarily address the STLDI portion of the proposed rules, and generally adopt them as proposed. Aside from a new notice requirement, the agencies delayed finalizing the rules on fixed indemnity insurance, but warned that the delay should not be an endorsement of the abusive practices that have emerged in this space.Continue Reading Agencies Defer Final Action on Junk Insurance, While Suggesting Caution Against One Last “Binge”

In 2024, we commemorate a significant milestone in the landscape of employee benefits law: the 50th Anniversary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Enacted on Labor Day in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, ERISA has since served as a cornerstone in safeguarding the retirement and welfare benefits of American workers.

Here at Seyfarth

On November 24, 2023, the IRS issued highly anticipated proposed regulations concerning the provisions under SECURE and SECURE 2.0, requiring 401(k) plans to expand deferral eligibility for long-term part-time employees. The proposed rules answer a number of burning questions that have been lingering since 2019 when SECURE was first enacted. In this special episode, Seyfarth

True to form, the IRS released long-awaited proposed regulations during a long holiday weekend. This time they are narrowly focused on the eligibility rules for Long-Term Part-Time employees first introduced under the SECURE Act, and then expanded by SECURE 2.0. But, they did not disappoint, and are chock full of useful and detailed information on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Fresh on the heels of the IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum on wellness and indemnity products, discussed in our prior post here, the agencies have weighed in with more formal and more expansive guidance throwing more cold water on the tax treatment of these types of products, that the Administration has dubbed “junk insurance”. 

Background

On July 7th, the Treasury Department, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “agencies”) issued proposed rules impacting “junk insurance”. The guidance proposes (i) changes to what qualifies as short-term, limited-duration insurance, (ii) amendments to the requirements for independent, non-coordinated coverage, and fixed indemnity insurance to be considered an “excepted benefit”, and (iii) clarifications of the tax treatment of fixed amount benefit payments under employment-based accident and health plans. The IRS also asks for comments on coverage limited to specified diseases or illnesses that qualifies as excepted benefits and on level-funded plan arrangements.Continue Reading My Insurance Doesn’t Cover That? Agency Guidance on “Junk Insurance”

By this point, most people in the employee benefits space have heard about the MOVEit and Retirement Clearing House (RCH) cyber incidents, which could directly impact employers’ benefit plans. The MOVEit file transfer application is used by a number of vendors, including those that locate missing plan participants or find information regarding deceased plan participants