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Health Care Wellness Plans Can Make Employees Happier and Reduce Expenditures for Employers

News | March 22, 2018

The rising costs of providing health benefits, as well as new trends in how to structure wellness programs that entice employees toward better health habits, increase their longevity with the company, and reduce absenteeism has created dozens of legal questions, says John Schembari, an employee benefits attorney at Kutak Rock, who spoke to about 150 Nebraska employers at a seminar hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska in Omaha on March 22, 2018.

"Most business owners have great intentions, but often don't understand the complex legal issues and frankly what works best to encourage their workforce to be healthy contributors to the team," Schembari says. "We all know that comprehensive wellness programs can help reduce business expenditures. But how are the most successful businesses making that happen?"

Schembari presented, "Keeping your Wellness Program Legal," discussing the legal considerations with employers who offer financial rewards to employees for participating in the company’s wellness program—and sometimes penalties for not.

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. He noted that the laws impacting wellness plans are some of the most complicated in the benefits arena, 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 qualified and nonqualified retirement plans.