On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published proposed regulations for wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). (See our Client Alert for more information on the proposed regulations.) The EEOC finalized these rules last week adopting the proposed regulations with one notable exception.
The final regulations now apply to all wellness programs regardless of whether they are a part of a group health plan. This means that employers offering wellness programs outside of a group health plan may offer incentives to their employees in exchange for providing information that would normally be protected by the ADA or GINA. For example, an employer may offer incentives to all employees in exchange for filling out a health risk assessment that asks for information about an employee’s disability status. Under the proposed regulations, this type of incentive could only be offered to employees enrolled in the employer’s plan. However, employers may now offer incentives to employees who are not participants in an employer’s group health plan. The new regulations apply on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017.
For assistance with your wellness program, please contact your Kutak Rock LLP attorney or a member of the Kutak Rock Employee Benefits Practice Group listed in the right-hand column.