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EEOC Posts Webinar Recording on Wellness Program Rules

In May, the EEOC issued final rules that describe how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers that request health information from employees and their family members. The rules allow limited incentives for employees and spouses to participate in such programs, but also include important privacy protections.

The recorded webinar  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/events/webcast-wellness.cfm is designed to assist employers and wellness programs comply with EEOC rules. Additionally, the EEOC has provided extensive guidance in the form of frequently asked questions, a small business fact sheet, and a sample notice for employer sponsored wellness programs.

Important highlights include:

  • The rules only apply to employer sponsored wellness programs that require an employee or their spouse to answer disability related questions or undergo medical examinations in order to earn a reward or avoid a penalty.
  • If such health related information is collected, the maximum allowable incentive an employer can offer is  30 percent of the total cost for self-only coverage  of the plan in which the employee is enrolled, or if not enrolled in a plan, a maximum incentive of  30 percent of the lowest cost major medical self-only  plan it offers. For example if the total cost of self-only coverage was $5,000 the employer could offer a maximum incentive of $1,500.
  • Qualifying incentives can be financial or in-kind (such as time off awards, prizes, and other items of value)

The provisions of these rules requiring a notice to employees and establishing incentive limits go into effect on the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.

Questions? Call 802.488.8725.