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John Schembari Presents on Corporate Wellness Program Incentives and Keeping Your Program Legal

News | April 20, 2016

Kutak Rock employee benefits attorney John Schembari presented "Keeping your Wellness Program Legal" at a seminar hosted by the Nebraska Safety Council on April 19, 2016. Schembari addressed common pitfalls of wellness plans and the hallmarks of great plans.

Schembari said that more than two-thirds of U.S. employers offer a corporate wellness program, incentivizing better health habits to slow down rising insurance costs and reduce employee sick days. Unfortunately, he explained, the company that offers exercise perks, membership discounts, smoking cessation, weight-management and cash rewards may also find itself tripping over complex legal questions.  

Schembari's presentation discussed the legal considerations for employers who offer financial rewards and other incentives to employees for participating in a company’s wellness program—and sometimes penalties for not. "There are definitely tactics that work better than others when it comes to encouraging your workforce to be healthy contributors to the team," he said.

He offered attendees new information on relevant laws pertaining to wellness programs, including those relating to ERISA, HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and others. "Laws impacting wellness plans are some of the most complicated in the benefits arena," he said. "They can be much more complicated than those impacting retirement or medical plans."

For an outline of the talk, click the link below, or to learn more about setting up a wellness program for your business, contact a member of the Kutak Rock employee benefits group.

Schembari serves as chair of the firm's employee benefits and executive compensation group. He works with private, public and governmental employers on their employee benefit plans and compensation programs.