As of August 27, 2021, Illinois employers that provide group health insurance coverage must comply with a new law that requires certain disclosures to employees, as well as recordkeeping. This law is known as the “Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act."
We address issues, cases and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance of employment law that can impact a business' growth and profitability.
The United States Supreme Court issued four pertinent decisions during the 2020-2021 year related to labor and employment law. In one decision, the Court offered guidance regarding the clarity of arbitration agreements and the issue of an arbitrator’s authority to decide whether employer-employee disputes are subject to mandatory arbitration. Following the 5th Circuit’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate setting the penalty for not buying health insurance to zero was unconstitutional, the Supreme Court in the second decision determined the individual and state plaintiffs nevertheless lacked standing to challenge the mandate given they had no fairly traceable injury to the unlawful conduct.
While ERISA has long regulated employer provided group health insurance plans, it had never in the past dictated which employees should be eligible to receive health insurance. When Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2013 (“ACA”), it required for the first time that an employer provide health insurance to all employees who work on average at least 30 hours a week. The failure to cover all eligible employees, as now defined by the ACA, would subject employers either to the increased expense for having to provide affordable health insurance to a greater percentage of employees than in the past or to the “employer mandate” financial penalties.
As discussed in an earlier blog article, the EEOC takes a dim view of employer wellness programs to the extent they “encourage” participation through monetary penalties. As part of its wellness program, Honeywell encouraged employees and their dependents to participate in a biomedical test which would analyze a blood sample for, among other things, cholesterol, glucose and nicotine levels.