The wellness rules for employer-sponsored programs have faced obstacles along the way that have resulted in a delay of the issuance of final wellness rules. The reason for the delay is the impact that the rules have on other pieces of legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA). On January 7, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued additional proposed rules based on a court decision that had affected the EEOC’s prior guidance regarding wellness incentives.
Prior to the newly proposed rules, an employer could offer up to 30% incentive to maintain compliance with the ADA and GINA. However, the recent court ruling has resulted in the need to issue proposed rules to allow de minimis incentives within wellness programs with notable exceptions for programs determined to be health contingent based programs.
The Compliance Bulletin provides a more in-depth overview of the EEOC’s proposal. It is important to note that the regulations are not finalized and comments on the proposed regulations are being sought post 60 days once they are posted in the Federal Register. We will continue to provide updates as the regulations evolve.
In the meantime, should you have any questions related to wellness program administration, consult the Cowden team.