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Brian Bartels, John Westerhaus Author Article in The Nebraska Lawyer

News | April 7, 2022

Brian Bartels and John Westerhaus, attorneys in Kutak Rock’s Omaha office, recently authored an article in the March/April 2022 issue of The Nebraska Lawyer, titled “Is it Time for a Wellness Program Checkup?”

As healthcare costs rise, employers may desire to help their employees get—or stay—healthy. One increasingly popular way to incentivize healthy behaviors that may help reduce healthcare costs is through the adoption of an employee benefit known as a “wellness program.”

The authors state that “there is no such thing as ‘a’ wellness program.” Wellness programs are complex: they can be designed in numerous ways and vary considerably in their purpose, size, scope, eligibility, and incentive structure. As such, there is often confusion over what constitutes a wellness program and whether an incentive arrangement qualifies as a wellness program. The article provides a general overview of key wellness program requirements and some of the important legal and compliance issues that can arise in their design and implementation. 

Read The Nebraska Lawyer article here.  Reprinted with permission from the authors and the Nebraska State Bar Association, The Nebraska Lawyer (March/April 2022).

Kutak Rock partner Brian Bartels works with clients on employee benefit plan issues and advises on group health plans, wellness programs, mental health parity, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, ERISA, cafeteria plans, health savings accounts, and other health and welfare plans. He regularly drafts and negotiates service agreements and business associate agreements for employee benefit plans.

Kutak Rock associate John Westerhaus advises plan sponsors and fiduciaries regarding the design, administration, and operation of employee benefit plans. This includes compliance issues relating to benefit determinations, plan disclosures and policies, the drafting of plan documents and amendments, and the review of service provider agreements and investment documents.