Judith Wethall Judith Wethall

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Judith Wethall focuses her practice on employee benefits, specifically health and welfare programs. She counsels employers, plan administrators, insurers and consultants on a wide range of ERISA compliance issues. Judith's clients include sole proprietors to Fortune 100 companies and cover a variety of industries including health care, technology, manufacturing, insurance and financial. Read Judith Wethall's full bio.

Biden HHS Pick Is a Shot in the Arm for Mental Health Parity


By on Apr 27, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor

The federal government has taken major steps to boost insurers’ coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment in recent years, and with the confirmation of former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that trend will likely continue. Access the article.

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IRS Provides Additional COVID-19 Relief for Cafeteria Plans


By , and on Apr 13, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

On February 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued clarifying guidance on the temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). This provides welcome guidance regarding the application of cafeteria plan relief provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). Access the article.

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COVID-19 Relief Bill Offers COBRA Reform and Temporarily Increases DCAP Maximum


By , and on Mar 25, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans, Privacy and Data Security

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) providing Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) reform provisions and an increase in Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) maximum deferrals. While details from the agencies are forthcoming, here is an overview of these provisions of the ARPA. Access the...

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Free Health Insurance! 100% COBRA Subsidy in COVID Stimulus Package: Questions & Answers


By on Mar 23, 2021
Posted In Digital Health, Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

The 100% Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) subsidy in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) means that more than two million laid off Americans will have the option to extend their workplace healthcare insurance for free—temporarily. In a recent article for Forbes, McDermott partner Judith Wethall outlines what the COBRA subsidy potentially...

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DOL Issues Clarification for ERISA-Governed Group Health Plans


By , and on Mar 17, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

Two days before the one-year anniversary of the official start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a last-minute notice clarifying its prior guidance that relaxed the deadlines for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed group health and welfare plans (ERISA) related to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and...

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3 Benefits Takeaways from New Surprise Medical Billing Law


By on Feb 2, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

The No Surprises Act, which was tucked into the year-end spending bill, protects patients from getting slapped with surprise bills after visits to the emergency room or their regular medical providers, leaving any payment disputes up to their plan and provider to resolve. A recent article in Law360 covers three key takeaways from the legislation...

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EEOC Proposes New Rules on Wellness Programs


By , and on Jan 26, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans, Privacy and Data Security

On January 7, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed guidance regarding employer-sponsored wellness programs and the level of incentives employers may offer employees who participate in these programs in the form of two proposed rules. On January 20, 2021, the Biden administration ordered agencies to immediately withdraw most unpublished rules, including the...

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Consolidated Appropriations Act: Health and Welfare Benefits Provisions


By , and on Jan 20, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (the Act) was signed into law by the president on December 27, 2020, and includes significant health and welfare benefits provisions that affect group health plans and health insurance issuers. The Act is the most comprehensive single piece of legislation to impact group health plans since the Affordable Care Act. Access...

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Agencies Issue Final Employer Healthcare Price Transparency Rule


By , and on Dec 10, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

On October 29, 2020, the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued the Transparency in Coverage final rule (the Rule), along with a fact sheet, setting forth requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers to disclose cost-sharing information upon request to participants, as well as additional...

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4 Tips to Help Benefits Plans Achieve Mental Health Parity


By on Nov 20, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

As federal benefits regulators turn their focus toward plans’ mental health offerings and California lawmakers expand plans’ obligations in that area, now is a great time for employers to ensure their plan approaches mental health treatment the same way as traditional medical care. In a recent article by Law360, McDermott partner Judith Wethall helps explain...

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