For decades, promoters have marketed programs to employers seeking to leverage the favorable tax treatment accorded employer-provided medical benefits. These programs are variously described as “wellness” or “preventive services” arrangements, and they are usually wrapped in or offered with hospital indemnity policies. While varying in their design features and terminology, these programs all hold out the promise of outsized income and/or payroll tax savings. But can these programs deliver on that promise?

In a new article published by the American Staffing Association, McDermott’s Alden J. Bianchi and American Staffing Association Senior Counsel Edward Lenz express their view that any such health program that claims to achieve material payroll tax savings exposes adopting employers to a significant risk of violating federal tax and other laws.

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