Notice to employees regarding wellness programs required as of the first day of the 2017 plan year
On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a sample notice that employers who offer wellness programs may use to help them comply with notice requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You can read more about the notice requirement here. Employers who offer wellness programs must ensure their employees receive a notice describing what information will be collected as part of a wellness program, who will receive it, how it will be used and how it will be protected.
A sample notice is posted here. A question-and-answer document is also available on the EEOC’s website, which explains the notice requirement and how to use the sample notice. You will find that document posted here.
Deadline for Complying
Employers must provide the required notice to their employees as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. Please note, the plan year in this case needs to be the plan year that an employer uses to calculate the incentive limit for the wellness program.
6055 and 6056 final forms and instructions for 2016 calendar year filing, individual statements required to be issued by January 31, 2017
In late September, the IRS released final forms and instructions for 6055 and 6056 reporting for the 2016 calendar year. Changes to the e-services system, which is used for electronic filing of these forms, were also announced at that time.
Information of note from the final instructions is summarized in the chart below. Please note, the instructions also make reference to the proposed 6055 regulations, which you can read more about here.
|Item||Helpful Links||Important Information to Note|
|Final Forms||1094-B; 1095-B; 1094-C; 1095-C;||The 1094-C form has changed to remove the qualifying offer method transition relief, which is no longer applicable.|
|Final Instructions||B Instructions
The instructions contain the following information:
|The IRS has delayed the previously planned October 24 effective date for changes to the identity authentication process. A new date has not been set at this time. The changes are intended to strengthen protections for e-services accounts by requiring two-factor authentication to use the Secure Access platform. Each time returning users access the e-services system, they will have to provide their username and password, as well as a security code sent in a text message to their mobile phone.|
Please keep in mind as we enter the end of the year that 6055/6056 statements to individuals must be sent no later than January 31, 2017, for the 2016 calendar year. The individual statement may be a copy of the IRS form that must be completed or an acceptable substitute.
Compliance Quarterly is being provided as an informational tool. It is recommended that plans consult with their own experts or counsel to review all applicable federal and state legal requirements that may apply to their group health plan. By providing this publication and any attachments, Meritain Health is not exercising discretionary authority over the plan and is not assuming a plan fiduciary role, nor is Meritain Health providing legal advice.
Published November 15, 2016