Posts Categorized: Wellness Programs

EEOC Issues Two Final Rules Regarding Employer Wellness Programs

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits, Wellness Programs

The EEOC issued two final rules today relating to wellness programs, as well as questions and answers, explaining how the ADA and Title II of GINA apply to employer wellness programs that request information from employees and their spouses.  These guidelines provide welcome direction to employers who have faced some uncertainty as to whether they could provide incentives for spouses who participate in their wellness programs and whether their wellness programs comply with the ADA. Here are links to these rules; more detailed information about the requirements of these new rules will be provided shortly. GINA Final Rules:  These FAQs… Continue Reading

Workplace Wellness Webinar

in Wellness Programs

The KT health and welfare team recently conducted a webinar on workplace wellness programs. The webinar focused on practical and legal issues under the HIPAA nondiscrimination rules, the proposed EEOC regulations under the ADA and the proposed EEOC regulations under GINA. The presentation as well as an audio recording of the webinar can be accessed here.

DOL Wellness FAQs

in Health Benefits, Wellness Programs

The DOL has issued two new FAQs regarding wellness benefits that reflect the EEOC proposed rules.  The first question addresses what it means for a health contingent program to be “reasonably designed” to promote health or prevent disease.  Programs that collect sensitive health information without providing assistance to modify behavior (such as stopping smoking, managing diabetes, losing weight) may fail to meet the requirement of improving health or preventing disease and may be scrutinized and subject to enforcement action by the DOL.  The second question emphasizes that compliance with the DOL’s wellness program regulations does not confirm compliance with other… Continue Reading

EEOC Proposed Wellness Regulations

in Health Benefits, Wellness Programs

The EEOC has released a proposed rule discussing the requirements for a wellness program to be “voluntary”  under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Although these requirements impose additional disclosure requirements than are required for nondiscriminatory wellness programs under HIPAA, having guidance is welcome news in light of the recent cases challenging wellness programs as involuntary under the ADA.  Briefly, the ADA prohibits discrimination by employers against individuals on the basis of disability with respect to compensation and other terms of employment, including fringe benefits.  The ADA also prohibits disability-related inquiries or requiring a medical exam, but an exception is… Continue Reading

Senate HELP Committee to Discuss Wellness

in Wellness Programs

Ever since the EEOC filed a lawsuit challenging Honeywell’s employer wellness plan under the ADA, employers have become hyper sensitive to wellness plan issues.  Many employers feel the EEOC challenges are unwarranted, particularly because the wellness plans already meet the requirements under the DOL and IRS guidance for employer-sponsored wellness plans.  Still others feel that ADA challenges should not filed until regulations have been finalized by the EEOC.  On that latter front, it’s taken the EEOC over a decade to come up with its current strategy, so it’s not surprising that regulations or guidance have not been issued.  Currently, the… Continue Reading