Implementing a Compliant Wellness Program

compliance_shutterstock_155045255Employers who offer health benefits to their employees may decide to implement wellness plans as a way to help control health plan costs and encourage healthy lifestyles. There are a number of legal compliance issues that are involved with designing workplace wellness plans. Wellness plans must be carefully structured to comply with both state and federal laws. The three main federal laws that impact the design of wellness plans are The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). These laws each have their own set of legal rules for acceptable wellness program design.

To ensure your wellness plan is compliant, there are several aspects of your wellness program that should be reviewed by a professional including the amount of the incentive, the required goal and the reasonable alternative, to name a few. Additionally, the following language should be included in your communication materials:

Your health plan is committed to helping you achieve your best health. Rewards for participating in a wellness program are available to all employees. If you think you might be unable to meet a standard for a reward under this wellness program, you might qualify for an opportunity to earn the same reward by different means. Contact us at [insert contact information] and we will work with you (and, if you wish, with your doctor) to find a wellness program with the same reward that is right for you in light of your health status.

To learn more about implementing a compliant wellness program at your organization, contact an AssuredPartners NL Health & Productivity Manager.

Source: Zywave

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