This month the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) has issued guidelines for employer sponsored wellness plans which closely follows the lead of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
There has been much controversy around wellness, as last fall the EEOC began suing businesses offering incentives to employees who participate in wellness plans that could potentially discriminate against certain protected employees. These incentivized plans offered blood pressure measurement, cholesterol levels and other biometric screenings.
The proposed rule endorses the 30 percent rule included in the PPACA and states that employers can offer incentives to wellness participants of up to 30 percent of their insurance premium.
This guidance endorses penalties for those who refuse to participate of up to the same 30 percent level. This allows employers to include employee medical exams, health questionnaires and biometric screenings as part of their wellness programs as long as employers don’t overtly discriminate against any employee.
If you have considered implementing a wellness program, but the threat of the EEOC held you back, now is a perfect time to discuss program ideas and options that would benefit your work environment. Wellness programs can be effective at changing behaviors, improving productivity and generating a healthy culture. For more information on Wellness Guidance and EEOC, reach out to Wharton Insurance via email or call 317.663.4138.
Dawn Lang serves as the Wharton Insurance & Financial Services Team’s Wellness Associate. You can learn more about Dawn and her work by visiting prescriptivehealthsolutions.com.