Wellness Program Compliance in the Workplace

midwestern logoHealth insurance providers often provide financial incentives for businesses to offer wellness programs. Therefore, in order to promote healthier lifestyles and receive benefits, it’s become more and more popular over the last few years for employers to implement these programs. While these programs are intended to encourage a healthier standard of living, they have recently come under fire by the EEOC for violating federal law. Therefore, a comprehensive Employment Practices Liability Insurance policy is a critical component for all businesses to mitigate risk and financial liability in the event of a lawsuit.

According to Inside Counsel, the EEOC issued a final rule on May 17 to amend the regulations, and the accompanying interpretive guidance, implementing Title I of the Americas with Disabilities Act for employer wellness programs. The EEOC also amended the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The final rule indicates that a spouse may be provided with limited incentive to give information about the other spouse’s health status as part of the wellness program. However, as the program is voluntary, the law indicates that only limited incentives can be offered to those who choose to answer health-related questions.

In order for the programs to be voluntary, the following must apply to the workplace wellness program:

  • It must be voluntary, not mandatory.
  • Health coverage must still be provided to those who opt out of participating in the wellness program.
  • No retaliation can be taken upon those employees who don’t wish to participate.
  • Employers must be diligent in notifying employees explicitly how their medical information will be handled.

About K2 Insurance Services

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.