Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs Issued by EEOC
June 1, 2016
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final rules on employer-sponsored wellness programs in May. The rules clarify the commission’s position on wellness plan compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). The final rules also work to reconcile differences between the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and the EEOC’s proposed rules relating to wellness programs, which were released last year. The final rules confirm that wellness programs cannot offer financial incentives in excess of 30 percent of the total cost of self-only coverage (including both the employee and employer contributions).
Under the rule, employers will have to provide notices with specific content requirements in connection with wellness programs. The EEOC will publish a model notice on its website in June. The final rules will apply as of the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.