EEOC issues final rules on voluntary workplace wellness programs
By Shelby Livingston
From Business Insurance on Monday, May 16, 2016
Reacting to the final rules, Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health in Washington, said they are “largely consistent with what the EEOC proposed last year. We had hoped for a little more flexibility with respect to the calculation of the spousal incentive.”
The final rules do not refer to family coverage. Instead, they limit spousal incentives to 30% of employee-only coverage, Mr. Wojcik said. Family coverage is more expensive than employee-only coverage, so employers who had tied incentives to family coverage previously “might have to scale it back,” he said.
Mr. Wojcik also said it had been hoped that the use of “gated” benefit plans, which allow employees to enroll in the richest plan if they comply with a biometric screening or health risk assessment, would have been allowed, but the final rules rejected that approach.
“As long as the default plan is acceptable … why not say that if you are willing to do a biometric screening or health assessment, you can have a more generous plan option?” he said.
The final rules do provide “a clear roadmap to employers on how to structure incentives” for voluntary workplace wellness programs, Mr. Wojcik said.
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