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.

Agencies Provide Guidance on Impending Transparency in Coverage Rule Implementation


By , and on May 3, 2022
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

On April 19, 2022, the US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of certain reporting provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The FAQs were released to provide clarity on the required drug price disclosures identified in the Transparency in...

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IRS Announces 2023 Limits for Health Savings Accounts, High-Deductible Health Plans and Excepted Benefit HRAs


By and on Apr 29, 2022
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced (See Revenue Procedure 2022-24) cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for 2023. All of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2022 will change for 2023, with the exception of one...

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Agencies Clarify How Employers Can Charge COVID-19 Vaccine Premium Incentives


By and on Feb 24, 2022
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor

US employers have grown increasingly interested in identifying incentives that increase COVID-19 vaccination among employees. The US Departments of Labor, Treasury and Human and Human Services recently issued guidance regarding the application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) wellness rules to vaccine-related premium surcharges and discounts, clarifying that employers may charge vaccine...

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Issues Mount as Health Plans Offer At-Home COVID-19 Tests


By , and on Feb 10, 2022
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

The Biden administration’s January guidance that group health plans and insurers cover the costs of at-home COVID-19 tests has rattled insurers and employers. According to this SHRM article, insurers’ data processing systems have had difficulty paying for tests purchased by consumers at pharmacies, and self-insured employers have struggled to identify the best way to pay...

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Are Out-of-Pocket Costs on Their Way Out? At-Home COVID-19 Testing and Expanded Preventative Healthcare for Women and Children


By , and on Jan 14, 2022
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans

In response to a directive from the White House, based on provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that eliminated cost sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, three federal government departments—the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the US Department of Labor...

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IRS Announces 2022 Employee Benefit Plan Limits


By , and on Nov 10, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase. View the adjustments here.

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Agencies Clarify How Employers Can Charge COVID-19 Vaccine Premium Incentives


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

On October 4, 2021, the US Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services issued guidance regarding the application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) wellness rules to vaccine-related premium surcharges and discounts, clarifying that employers may charge vaccine premium incentives if they adhere to the requirements of activity-only health-contingent programs....

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IRS Provides Further Guidance on COBRA Election and Payment Deadlines


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

In Notice 2021-58, the Internal Revenue Service clarified that the one-year tolling relief periods for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) elections and initial premium payments run concurrently, not consecutively. This means that a qualified beneficiary generally will have only one year of total disregarded time for the election and initial payment periods. Read more...

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Employers on Hook for Mental Health Parity Despite New Target


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

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is casting a skeptical eye on health insurance companies’ inconsistent coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits. The DOL recently commenced litigation against an insurer to require mental health and substance use disorder coverage be on par with regular physical care. In an article in Bloomberg Law,...

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Premium Surcharges for the Unvaccinated Are Lawful Within Limits


By on Oct 14, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

Many plan administrators expressed bewilderment at the Biden administration’s recent guidance to limit vaccine incentive or surcharge programs for unvaccinated plan participants. According to this SHRM article, which features insight from McDermott Partner Judith Wethall, any premium surcharges must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPPA) nondiscrimination rules. HIPPA nondiscrimination rules allow...

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