Nick Welle is senior counsel and a business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He exclusively devotes his practice to issues impacting group health and welfare benefit plans, focusing on health care reform issues and consumer-driven health benefits. He advises his clients on matters concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HIPAA privacy, COBRA, ERISA, cafeteria plans, flexible benefit plans, wellness programs, health savings accounts, and other health benefit issues.
Affordable Care Act
Nick assists clients with ACA compliance issues. As a frequent author and speaker on health care reform issues, he stays abreast of the legislative and regulatory changes to health care reform and has a deep understanding of ACA’s requirements imposed on employers and health plans, including the employer mandate (“pay or play” provisions) and its related tax reporting.
Nick helps clients with drafting HIPAA privacy policies, notices of privacy practices, business associate agreements, and other HIPAA compliance materials. He advises on the permitted uses and disclosures of protected health information and conducts HIPAA privacy training for his clients.
ERISA Claims and Appeals
Nick combines his former experience as a litigator with his current ERISA health plan compliance practice to provide consulting services to the firm’s litigation team concerning group health plan disputes. He provides guidance to clients facing group health plan coverage issues, including ERISA fiduciary and preemption matters. He also has extensive experience with pre-suit administrative claims and appeals.
Wellness Programs and Account-Based Plans
Nick also focuses his practice on consumer-driven trends in health benefits, including wellness programs and account-based plans. Nick addresses issues involving wellness program incentive limits and required notices, administration of health savings accounts, documentation requirements for health care flexible spending accounts, and other related compliance issues.
Mergers & Acquisitions Support
Nick works with members of the firm’s Transactional & Securities practice group to advise clients on potential liabilities regarding ACA, HIPAA, ERISA, and other federal laws governing group health plans.
Nick was named one of Wisconsin’s 2018 “Up and Coming Lawyers” by the Wisconsin Law Journal.
Nick received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010), where he received the Dean’s Academic Achievement Award. During law school, he served as a judicial intern at the Wisconsin Supreme Court and as a legal extern for the Civil Litigation Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Nick earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.S., magna cum laude, 2007), where he was president of the University of Wisconsin Pre-Law Society. Nick also earned a certificate in HIPAA Compliance from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (2013).
Admissions and Professional Memberships
Nick is admitted to practice in Wisconsin and Arizona.
Nick stays on the forefront of the ongoing legislative and regulatory changes to health care reform and related ERISA issues by holding multiple positions with influential benefits organizations. He is a member of the Health and Welfare Task Force for the American Benefits Council and the Health Care Reform Task Force for the American Bar Association. He serves on the Technical Advisory Committee and Best Practices Committee for the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation.
Nick runs Milwaukee’s Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program. The program educates high school students from low-income families and diverse backgrounds about the law and the legal profession in general. Nick also frequently volunteers for the firm’s Wills for Heroes program, which is a program dedicated to providing free wills to police officers, firefighters and other first responders. In recognition of his volunteer work, the State Bar of Wisconsin named Nick a Pro Bono Honor Society Member.
Publications and Presentations
Nick frequently publishes and presents on issues concerning health care reform and consumer-driven health trends. He also provides boardroom presentations and CLE programs to clients interested in learning about the changes in the law or wanting refresher trainings on particular health plan topics. Nick manages the firm’s Benefits Broadcasts (webinars that provide clients with developments in the law), and is a frequent speaker for these broadcasts as well.