A handful of recent guidance items that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have issued make some important changes related to the regulation of excepted benefits. These changes are driven in large part by the insurance market reforms and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Included are helpful new rules governing Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs), some welcome clarifications dealing with stand-alone vision and dental plans, and a new wrap-around employee benefit that can supplement public exchange coverage. For the most part, these changes should be welcomed by both employers and employees as they endeavor to comply with the ACA.
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