Share this e-Alert:

Polsinelli Polsinelli Polsinelli Polsinelli Polsinelli Polsinelli - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Polsinelli
         

  

July 2016

  

Time for a Wellness Check on your Wellness Program? New EEOC Regulations Could Diagnose Need for Change

  

 
             
 

For more information about this alert, please contact:

 

Henry Talavera

214.661.5538

Email | Bio

 

Meredith A. VanderWilt

214.661.5558

Email | Bio

 

Josephine S. Harvey

214.661.5542

Email | Bio

  

To learn more about our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice, to contact one of our attorneys, or for more Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Intelligence, click here.

 

  

To follow Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation on Twitter, click here.

  


Twitter Facebook Polsinelli Podcast View Polsinelli documents on JD Supra  

SUBSCRIBE

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Polsinelli Podcast Connect with us on LinkedIn. Connection with us on Twitter. Connect with us on Facebook. Connect with us on LinkedIn. Connection with us on Twitter. Connect with us on Facebook.

 

   

In light of new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers should examine their wellness programs now (and during open enrollment for next year) to determine the potential impact of the final regulations, as many wellness programs will need to be changed to comply with the new rules.

In May, the EEOC published its much anticipated final regulations implementing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as those laws relate to employer-sponsored wellness programs. The most significant changes under the EEOC's final rules require compliance for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, but some clarifications are effective immediately.

Specifically, the EEOC provided guidance on how employers can incentivize employees to participate in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and medical examinations. The EEOC also clarified the extent to which an employer may offer an inducement for an employee's spouse and children to provide information regarding the spouse or child's diseases or medical disorders as part of a health risk assessment (HRA).

With respect to the new requirements for next year, the major takeaways for employers with respect to their wellness programs include:

  • New 30% Limit on Certain Incentives

    If an employer's wellness program includes a medical examination and/or a disability related inquiry, there is a new incentive limit of 30% of the total cost of employee-only coverage.

    This rule applies even if that wellness program is:

    (1) NOT tied specifically to the employer's group health plan (i.e., the incentive is offered to all employees regardless of their eligibility for the company's health plan)

    (2) a "participatory" wellness program (i.e., the employee receives an incentive simply by participating in the wellness program without having to achieve any specific medical outcome), or

    (3) a tobacco cessation program that requires blood work (or other medical examination) to confirm the absence of nicotine use

  • Be Careful What Questions Are Asked of an Employee's Dependents

    If a wellness program asks questions about the health status of an employee's dependents (spouse or children) through an HRA or otherwise, employers should review those questions immediately, as some inquiries may no longer be permitted under the final EEOC regulations, or they may be subject to the above limitation on permitted incentives.

  • New Notice Requirement

    Participants must be notified of certain information when the wellness program requires a medical examination, whether or not such wellness program is part of a group health plan. 

Click here for more detailed information on the changes for next year and the clarifications that could affect your wellness program today.

To view the full alert as a downloadable pdf, please click here.

For More Information

Please contact the authors or one of Polsinelli's other Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation attorneys should you have any concerns regarding the possible impact of these new EEOC rules on your company's wellness program.

 

 
             

             
 

Atlanta  Boston  Chattanooga  Chicago  Dallas  Denver  Houston  Kansas City  Los Angeles  Nashville  New York
Overland Park  Phoenix  Raleigh  St. Joseph  St. Louis  San Francisco  Washington, D.C.  Wilmington
polsinelli.com

 
             
 
 

ABOUT POLSINELLI

real challenges. real answers.SM  
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 800 attorneys in 19 offices, serving corporations, institutions, and entrepreneurs nationally. Ranked in the top five percent of law firms for client service*, the firm has risen more than 50 spots over the past five years in the Am Law 100 annual law firm ranking. Polsinelli attorneys provide practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, and business litigation. Polsinelli attorneys have depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. The firm can be found online at www.polsinelli.com. Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP.

* 2016 BTI Client Service A-Team Report

 
 
             
 

Polsinelli provides this material for informational purposes only. The material provided herein is general and is not intended to be legal advice. Polsinelli is very proud of the results we obtain for our clients, but you should know that past results do not guarantee future results; that every case is different and must be judged on its own merits; and that the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Copyright © 2016 Polsinelli PC..

 
             
Connect with us on LinkedIn. Connection with us on Twitter. Connect with us on Facebook. Polsinelli- Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Polsinelli http://www.polsinelli.com/services/employee-benefits-and-executive-compensation Polsinelli