Nick J. Welle


Nick Welle exclusively devotes his practice to issues impacting group health and welfare benefit plans, focusing on health care reform issues and consumer-driven health benefits. Nick is the chair of the firm’s Health Benefits Practice, where he leads several attorneys focused on group health plan matters.

Nick regularly advises his clients on matters concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), HIPAA privacy, No Surprises Act, Price Transparency, COBRA, ERISA, cafeteria plans, flexible benefit plans, wellness programs, HRAs, health savings accounts, plan network design, MEWAs, association health plans, captive insurance arrangements, and other health benefit issues.

He works closely with plan administrators, plan sponsors (e.g., employers), PBMs, TPAs, carriers, consultants, wellness program administrators, health FSA and HRA administrators, EAP administrators, Centers of Excellence administrators, point solution companies, and other plan service providers in the health benefits space.

As part of his focus on staying at the forefront of the ongoing legislative and regulatory changes to health care reform and related benefits issues, Nick holds multiple positions with influential benefits organizations, including:

  • Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA), Price Transparency Committee
  • HRA Council, Compliance Subcommittee
  • American Benefits Council (ABC), Health and Welfare Task Force
  • Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), Technical Advisory Committee
  • American Bar Association (ABA), Health Care Reform Task Force
  • Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)

He frequently publishes and presents on legal developments impacting health plans. Nick is also routinely quoted and used as a legal expert resource on health plan issues for prominent media outlets, such as Bloomberg Law, Law360Kaiser Health News, Wall Street Journal, and others.

Nick is also the co-chair of the Milwaukee Pro Bono Committee and dedicates significant time to pro bono matters and community outreach. With this leadership position, he helps the Milwaukee office pursue significant pro bono opportunities and stay connected with the community on important issues.

Awards and Recognition

  • Award, “Legal All-Star – Leader in the Law,” by Wisconsin Law Journal in its inaugural year (2022)
  • Distinction, Member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (typically a lifetime designation), limited to 1% of lawyers admitted into the US demonstrating outstanding leadership in the law and service to society
  • Award, Philanthropic 5 United Way Emerging Leader, for his community leadership in the Greater Milwaukee area (2022)
  • Distinction, Member of the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation (typically a lifetime designation), which is limited to only 2.5% of Wisconsin State Bar members and considered a professional honor in recognition of his significant legal accomplishments and volunteer service to his community
  • Award, “Up and Coming Lawyer,” by the Wisconsin Law Journal (2018)

Community Involvement

As the co-chair of the Milwaukee Pro Bono Committee, Nick is involved in various pro bono and community outreach matters. For example, 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. He also hires students from the Program to become paid interns at Foley and provides mentorship as they enter college and law school.

Nick also acts as a key liaison between Foley and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee as he helps maintain a long-lasting partnership between these two organizations, assisting the Club with various needs, including backpacks for students, camp clean-up, mentoring and others.

Presentations and Publications

Nick frequently publishes and presents on issues concerning health care reform and legal developments impacting health plans. 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 is considered a valuable resource for journalists and industry publications, being interviewed and quoted on issues impacting health plans.

Examples include:

  • Panelist, “Surprise Medical Billing and the Federal IDR Process: How’s It Going?”, Self-Insurance Institute of America National Conference (October 9, 2023)
  • Speaker, “State Licensing for Service Providers: Discussing TPA, PBM, UM, Network Management, Producer and Other State Law License Requirements,” Association of Corporate Counsel – Health Law Network (April 25, 2023)
  • Speaker, “Data Accessibility & Price Transparency: Understanding Exposure,” SIIA Price Transparency Forum (February 28, 2023)
  • Speaker, “Tax-free health benefits for Virginia Small Businesses: Learn about ICHRA and QSEHRA,” Panel Presentation with Virginia State Corporation Commission (February 16, 2023)
  • Speaker, “Price Transparency and No Surprises,” Foley’s CLE Week (December 9, 2022)
  • Moderator, “Ahead of the Curve: Navigating the No Surprises Act,” Texas Association of Health Plans conference (November 8, 2022)
  • Quoted, “Legal Risks Loom For Employers Protecting Abortion Access,” Law360 (October 14, 2022)
  • Quoted, “LGBTQ Bias In Fertility Benefits Is An Emerging Battleground,” Law360 (April 20, 2022)
  • Quoted, “Insurers Must Answer for Mental Health Care Gaps, Senator Says,” Bloomberg Law (March 30, 2022)
  • Speaker, ICHRAs and ACA Compliance, HRA Council (February 8, 2022)
  • Speaker, “Price Transparency & Consumer Empowerment: Where Do We Go From Here,” #HLTHGoLIVE (January 19, 2022)
  • Quoted, “Health Coverage Extensions Could Create Headaches for Employers,” Bloomberg Law (May 8, 2020)
  • Quoted, “Attorneys Brace for More Lawsuits Over Health Insurance Notices,” Bloomberg Law (May 4, 2020)
  • Quoted, “Will Some Employers Be Allowed to Stop Offering Group Health Coverage Under the ACA? Stay Tuned,” Corporate Counsel (January 23, 2019)
  • Quoted, “Confusion reigns over employer HIPAA privacy obligations,” Business Insurance (July 1, 2018)
07 February 2024 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents Baker Tilly in Connection With Its Strategic Investment Led by Hellman & Friedman

Foley & Lardner LLP represented Baker Tilly, a leading advisory CPA firm, in connection with its strategic investment from private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and Valeas Capital Partners.
18 December 2023 Legal News: Employee Benefits Insights

Five Most Common Questions and Answers: Health Plans’ Gag Clause Attestations – Due December 31, 2023

Here are the five most asked questions we have received on the Gag Clause Prohibition Compliance Attestation, and our answers.
03 October 2023 Health Care Law Today

The No Surprises Act: The Departments Proposed Another Increase to IDR Fee, Will it Stick?

On September 26, 2023, the Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury jointly proposed rules updating the administrative fee and Certified Independent Dispute Resolution entity fee ranges for the Federal IDR Process under the No Surprises Act.
28 September 2023 Events

A Year After the No Surprises Act: What We've Learned and What to Watch Out For

Foley partner Nick Welle, chair of the firm’s Health Benefits Practice, and associates Alexandra Shalom and Kara Sweet are hosting an informative CLE webinar on September 28, covering how the NSA has affected the health care industry a year after going into effect.
20 September 2023 Article

Action Steps Health Plans Should Take Now In Response To New DOL Guidance on Mental Health Parity

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) added a requirement for health plans to document their compliance with nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
23 August 2023 Events

Top Ten Legal and Industry Developments Impacting Health & Welfare Benefits That You Should Know

This webinar will tackle several burning questions from plan sponsors and plan service providers about the recent legal responsibilities imposed on health plans.